Men's Rights Movement (sic)

68 posts / 0 new
Last post
Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Men's Rights Movement (sic)

Gosh I hope this isn't a troll magnet. I started this thread because we don't have a useful catalogue for the presence of Men's Rights (sic) organizations across Canada and elsewhere. Here is what babble book club (bbc) host Kaitlin found was polluting Vancouver's eastside recently:

Men's rights campaign stirs conflict on Commercial Drive

A poster campaign by a newly formed Vancouver branch of the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM) has residents in targeted neighbourhoods taking to the streets and the web in opposition to the organization’s links to terrorism and rape apology.

Posters proclaiming, among other things, that “90 percent of divorces are initiated by women,” “90 per cent of homeless are men,” and that feminism is a violent movement that discriminates against men, turning them into second-class citizens, began appearing earlier this month.

Some Commercial Drive residents say the Vancouver MRM’s presence is not welcome, or necessary, in their neighbourhood. “Of course I’m not oppressed, I’m a white male,” said Sean O’Flynn-Magee. “Obviously [sex equality] is a discussion we need to have out in the open, not with finger-pointing and trying to tear each other down.” He added that he and many of his friends are angry and do not believe the posters meet the community’s standards, and have even argued with MRM members they’ve seen gluing the posters up.

“It’s really just an echo chamber of misogyny and hatred of women in general,” said Jamie James, who has sparred with Vancouver MRA members in the blogosphere. “This self-victimization that women are evil and trying to tear down men, when you confront these ideas, people sometimes realize that isn’t what they meant when they said they support this movement.”

Gross.

Issues Pages: 
Regions: 
dacckon dacckon's picture

While there is discrimination against males in society, these men's right groups seem like a bunch of angry old men who are moronic.

6079_Smith_W

I knew a colleague about 15 years ago who was always on about that, and he seemed to be the driving force behind some sort of organization. He was given a forum in the media more than once, and wrote lots of letters. His big axe to grind was child access and divorce settlements.

Then, of course, there are those Promisekeepers - a Christian organization dedicated to men straightening themselves out and taking control as the divinely-ordained head of the family. Not sure which brand is worse.

Speaking of which, has there been any more news about that pile of money that went to a so-called men's group at SFU or UBC or whatever campus it was?

 

 

quizzical

dacckon wrote:
While there is discrimination against males in society, these men's right groups seem like a bunch of angry old men who are moronic.

i've yet to notice discrimination against white men in society...could ya give us an example?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I was wondering the same thing, quizzical. But let's not derail this thread. The only time I've experienced discrimination is when I accidentally walked into a women's bathroom. Oh wait, it wasn't discrimination--it was embarrassment.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Catchfire wrote:

I was wondering the same thing, quizzical. But let's not derail this thread. The only time I've experienced discrimination is when I accidentally walked into a women's bathroom. Oh wait, it wasn't discrimination--it was embarrassment.

Didn't Freud say "there are no accidents"? Laughing

6079_Smith_W

Catchfire wrote:

I was wondering the same thing, quizzical. But let's not derail this thread. 

Well certainly nothing remotely close to the degree of threats and oppression women face, and nothing worth starting an angry guy movement over. But I can think of a few examples.

I'm not offering this as an example, but as an aside, they had something on the "End of Men" book on Day Six this morning - the same one that was mentioned in that Domesticity blog you posted, CF. I didn't bother listening, but I guess it has something to do with the idea that men who work in the home and aren't the ones bringing most of the money into a household aren't really men anymore.

That's as ridiculous and as backwards as those Promisekeepers. Really, it portrays working women as a threat to "real" men. And what makes it doubly insulting is that those jobs in traditional women's trades are only rising in status because so many other sectors have been cut to ribbons. And yet women are somehow to blame.

In my case, I am the one who does most of the house and kid stuff, because my business runs largely out of the home. On occasion I have people blaming my partner when our kids show up with mis-matched socks, because in their minds I am just helping out with work that is really her responsibility.

 

quizzical

i've been thinkin on this lookin for examples. found 1. blue collar white men are oppressed by white collar white men.

6079_Smith_W

@ quizzical

Yeah, I'd agree that most of it, but not all,  comes from other men.

Realizing that this is fairly delicate territory, let me underscore that nothing that any men face justifies an attack on women, or against the struggle for equal treatment. Also, anything men face pales in comparison to the vastly greater oppression women face.

With that in mind, I can think of a couple of things:

Men and boys who get ridiculed, physically abused, driven to suicide or killed  for not living up to some people's standard of manliness.

Misinterpreting normal boy behaviour as a sickness and drugging it - standard practice in U.S. schools.

Something that happened to a friend of mine, and he's probably not alone - being literally laughed out of the room when he dared make a complaint of sexual harrassment and assault, because he was a big strong guy, and how could he possibly be afraid of an old woman?

The sorting system at Srebrenica.

One personal, more subtle example. Having a serious disagreement with someone, from which I backed off completely when I saw it was pointless. Then hearing back from my partner that she was told by this person "Oh you know men... they never want to really talk about their feelings or deal with things."

And yes, the notion that men who aren't the money-earners in their families are useless layabouts.

Anyway,  I certainly don't think any of it justifies these groups based on privilege, prejudice and misguided resentment. But if the question is put on the table I'm not going to say it doesn't exist. If anything, I think that gives these "men's groups" more ammunition.

 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The creepiest thing about Promise Keepers is that their basic argument seems to be, more or less "ok, we'll admit that a lot of men became abandoning, neglectful and/or abusive fathers and husbands over the last few decades...so long as everybody else admits that feminism and 'Sixties values' JUSTIFIED the neglect, abuse and abandonment-and we'll cut it out as soon as the whole world agrees to retroactively stop time in 1953". 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

A friendly reminder to the men posting in this thread that this thread is in the feminism forum and is not about men, discrimination against men, or any other male-focused topics. It is about the men's rights movement which is an example of misogyny and anti-feminism--not a misguided approach to a genuine problem facing men in society.

6079_Smith_W

Yes CF.

I hope I made it clear that I see those groups as being just as misguided and dangerous as you do. Indeed, that is exactly how I saw the conspiracy theories of this colleague of mine 15-plus years ago. Hopefully I don't get tarred with that same brush just because I respond to a comment with honesty rather than a joke.

After all, everything I mentioned is the product of the system of patriarchy which harms women far more than men - not, as these groups falsely believe, an attack by women on them.

In any case, I am happy to have this get back on topic.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Thanks Winston. I don't question the sincerity or significance of your post, just that we men have a habit of moving the discussion away from women-focussed topics in the feminism forum, often without realizing it and with entitrely good motives. It's an important discussion, just not here, I think.

Fidel

My childhood friend moved to Australia 15 years ago and is going through a rough separation. According to the friend his ex is doing everything she can to prevent access to their only child and for months at a time while he deals with legal services. She's managed to get him in trouble with the teacher's college there, and now he's worried about losing his ability to support himself as well as the ability to pay child support. It's pretty sad.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Fidel, this is not the thread for you to catalogue instances of men undone by the family court system. You see that, right? Please don't continue posting in that vein. It's inappropriate and disrespectful.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Apparently a member of the EastVan MRA mentioned above is a confirmed speaker in the next event of the "EastVan Debating Society." The question is: "Has feminism gone too far?" Here is the event on facebook. The speaker against the motion is TBA.

ryanw

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Realizing that this is fairly delicate territory, let me underscore that nothing that any men face justifies an attack on women, or against the struggle for equal treatment. Also, anything men face pales in comparison to the vastly greater oppression women face.

what kind of things do women face that justify attacks on men or equal treatment for them?

theleftyinvestor

I know that every year in the Vancouver Pride Parade there is a "fathers' rights" group that marches, and often I see signs suggesting that some of the marchers are gay dads who feel they were treated unjustly in court. The reaction of the crowd varies from blindly enthusiastic to quizzical. I don't know if they consider themselves under the MRM umbrella but there is certainly some anti-women sentiment there. I'm not comfortable with seeing the cause of homophobia in the court system taken up by a coalition of jaded misogynists.

6079_Smith_W

@ CF #12

Very good point. Thanks for the reminder, and sorry for the defensive reaction.

It's good to see that they are getting called to task on that FB page. They may have bitten off more than they can chew.

It's interesting how many of these groups seem bent on turning people at false enemies and away from the real causes. And sad too, because I expect there are more than a few decent-minded people who get sucked into it for one reason or another while missing the big picture - like the posters talking about "free speech" as some sort of justification.

@ ryanw

I'm not suggesting that - I think that is the lie they would like people to believe. And sorry, but I think I'll take CF's advice and just drop that line of discussion now.

 

Fidel

Catchfire wrote:

Fidel, this is not the thread for you to catalogue instances of men undone by the family court system. You see that, right? Please don't continue posting in that vein. It's inappropriate and disrespectful.

You're absolutely right. I have no time for these lynch Fidel and anyone who agrees with Fidel threads.

6079_Smith_W

Catchfire wrote:

Apparently a member of the EastVan MRA mentioned above is a confirmed speaker in the next event of the "EastVan Debating Society." The question is: "Has feminism gone too far?" Here is the event on facebook. The speaker against the motion is TBA.

Cancelled.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Wow a thread in the feminist forum started by a man and the postings appears to be all men except for one poster so far. Fortunately for her there were men available to explain the thread to her.

Wink

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Fidel wrote:

Catchfire wrote:

Fidel, this is not the thread for you to catalogue instances of men undone by the family court system. You see that, right? Please don't continue posting in that vein. It's inappropriate and disrespectful.

You're absolutely right. I have no time for these lynch Fidel and anyone who agrees with Fidel threads.

Fidel, stop.  Just stop.  You aren't the victim in this thread and nobody lynched you. 

This will be MY last post in this thread.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Interesting note - Anyone else familiar with Skepchick? It's an atheist/freethoughtblogs blog by and for women with a strongly feminist bent. Anyhow, they wage an incessant war with MRAs out of the atheist and free thought communities. Even groups that we might think are fairly progressive on the face of them deal with these regressive jerks.

I've been reading reviews of The End of Men and I suppose I'll have to pick up a copy and give it a read one of these days. What I've heard, though, doesn't impress me much - women have adapted to the new reality that everyone works and have developed skills to cope, whereas some men are "seemingly unable" (Rosin's phrase from a piece in the G&M this weekend) to adapt. The question that rises in my mind is this: are they unable, or are they simply unwilling? Is it an extension of male entitlement and privelege that they feel they just shouldn't have to?

6079_Smith_W

You could start with her article in the Atlantic, if you haven't read it already.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/308135/

A lot of what she describes are positive changes, and not all of it new information - that women do the bulk of the work and are in many cases far more effective organizers. That has  been true since hunter gatherer societies. What I don't get is  why is it all framed as a threat to men - right down to the absurd title -  rather than about women taking their rightful place, and breaking an old, oppressive system.

I'm sure it sells more books, but it is also turns something that should be seen as ultimately good for everyone into a lightning rod for these angry guys.

theleftyinvestor

Timebandit wrote:
What I've heard, though, doesn't impress me much - women have adapted to the new reality that everyone works and have developed skills to cope, whereas some men are "seemingly unable" (Rosin's phrase from a piece in the G&M this weekend) to adapt. The question that rises in my mind is this: are they unable, or are they simply unwilling? Is it an extension of male entitlement and privelege that they feel they just shouldn't have to?

I forget who I'm quoting here, but I have a feeling it might have come at least in part from the book "I Don't Want To Talk About It" which is about male depression. I read it many years back. But basically, it put forth via case studies that in many straight couples where the husband has depression, as the wife becomes more empowered in the relationship, the husband has greater difficulty masking his condition. And it makes sense, because traditional gender roles seem to offer men the entitlement of offloading onto women in order to cope with their emotional baggage without ever dealing with it.

And I don't mean to throw a blanket accusation of mental illness at the MRM, nor to mock or make light of said issue (it runs in my own family and it's one of the reasons I read that book in the first place), but when I look at some of these guys' behaviour, I see some parallels. Keeping women disempowered is not an acceptable solution to improving the lives of men.

Whether going on at more length on the topic of male depression is of relevance to a feminist forum, well that's debatable. But I think it's fair to say that if we desire a world in which men are well-adapted to feminism, there are a lot of men who have to confront some serious inner demons in order to get there - to stop perpetuating the cycle of delegating misery to women. And to children too, for that matter, because it gets passed down in the family to the next generation of men and women.

cubicalgangster

Sup leftyinvestor. I don't think depression is really a gender issue, it's a health issue. If you want to improve conditions in households of men who suffer from depression and their wives who must also deal with that burden you should be trying to improve the health care system. I don't know if this is relevant but women are more susceptible to depression than men.

In the spirit of mens right, both in western society and globally men are more likely the victims of violent crime than women are. Yes, women are more likely the victims of sexual assault. A part of the problem here is a matter of sexism, at least in my opinion. In most circumstances when it comes to violent crime the perpetrator is a man, however statistically speaking the victim is most likely to be male as well. I feel that because the perpetrator is male it allows us to have less sympathy for the victim. Mens rights groups don't just advocate for divorcees, but for people like this. In one in four cases of domestic abuse the abusee is a man. Domestic abuse is generally viewed as a womens fight in the sense that they're the one fighting for their rights and safety in the home. But we rarely here anything from the men in abusive relationships. Why is that?

There are also many incidents when women have claimed sexual assault as weapons against men, these cases can be hard to prove and the doubt usually goes to the women, innocent or not. Julian Assange is a good example of this. Even in Sweden women's rights advocates were arguing on their behalf saying they were employing female fragility in order to easily convict a man for other reasons, in this case Wikileaks. Despite all the hubub the Swedish prosecutors have made over this case they still need to charge the man with something.

War. Here is an example that people overlook for various reasons, none that I find particularly relevant or worthy of discussion. The truth is more men die in war than women or children, of course the latter are always the ones reported. I understand that both women and children are more relevant to the biological security of a race/nationality/etc., however nothing about their gender/age suggests they have more rights or are superior politically, at least according to any international policy I've seen. In many situations men are conscripted into military service, forced to fight, or are simply targets for invading forces because they are men. Even the Obama administration has employed sexist policy surrounding American drone strikes. Any many 18+ who is killed by a drone is considered a terrorist posthumously. This policy certainly reduces civilian casualties.

But lets come back to North America. Men and women's rights are inherently intwined and the progress we've experienced in our society has brought rights and gender rolls into question. In many neighbourhoods in the United States women are put under more and more duress as more of the men from the community are put in jails. This is especially common in black communities. This trend isn't new either, I'd say it started just after the prohibition of slavery.

There are many instances where men are degraded or exploited because of their gender. I think our society has progressed in a way to look on men and masculinity slightly negatively. I've been in situations where I've felt like it said "rapist" on my shirt. The discrimination is there and I think labelling male discrimination as laughable is part of that discrimination. And I think the biggest issue concerning mens rights are that discrimination of men is the most subtle than any other demographic thus easily overlooked. with women it's pretty clear via wage gaps, etc. Visible minorities, you can see systemic oppression. Non-straight people through discriminating policy. Just because many of the ills are befallen upon us by individuals who are male doesn't give us the right to discriminate against every man.

 

Edit: For examples of abuse and inequality towards men I'd suggest checking out the r/mensrights on Reddit. I find there is little productive discussion in that forum but the examples posted are pretty legitimate.

6079_Smith_W

@ theleftyinvestor

Look at the Women's Temperance movement. It wasn't just into breaking whiskey bottles to spoil the party. It was all tied in with suffrage, emancipation, anti-poverty, anti-violence, international peace, labour solidarity and other progressive political issues. And a big part of that was calling on men to hold up their end of things rather than making things worse. So it's not like it is just a "postmodern" phenomenon.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

cubicalgangster, don't post in this thread again. 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I've been reading reviews of The End of Men and I suppose I'll have to pick up a copy and give it a read one of these days. What I've heard, though, doesn't impress me much - women have adapted to the new reality that everyone works and have developed skills to cope, whereas some men are "seemingly unable" (Rosin's phrase from a piece in the G&M this weekend) to adapt. The question that rises in my mind is this: are they unable, or are they simply unwilling? Is it an extension of male entitlement and privelege that they feel they just shouldn't have to?

 

This nicely puts the finger on some discomfort I've been feeling with Rosin's book, which, like you, I've only experienced third-hand (although I just read this horrible piece of link-bait by her in The Atlantic). She seems to dissolve male privilege by saying that successful women just ignore it, which really means that they have come up with coping mechanisms for it, often humiliating ones. But she doesn't seem to point out that most men (who still make, on average, far more than women doing the same work), don't even need to make this adjustment. They just get on with it. (At least, I think that's close to what you're saying.)

Edited to avoid triple posting:

Jezebel article summarzing MRA in East Vancouver.

quizzical

follow the links in that Jezebel article....*blink* my eyes hurt. the website on Ruth's Facebook page for contacting her doesn't seem to support the stance she's taken. 1st thing came to my mind is what is she to the 2 men then?

Tehanu

The problem I see with the men's rights movement is that they've bought into the idea (which in itself is pretty patriarchal) that it's a zero-sum game. A fight, or a war, or a constant battle. Women gain, men lose. Ergo, feminism = bad and let's harken back to a time when men didn't have to question anything, if that time ever existed.

It sounds like the author of the End of Men has succumbed to the win/lose dichotomy as well.

I call that lazy thinking. Most of the examples cited above in which men suffer can be directly attributed to patriarchy and traditional masculinity. War. Violence. Inability or unwillingness to admit "weakness" in the case of something like depression. Even being concerned about being seen as a rapist, or not clearly understanding and internalizing the importance of consent in sexual situations.

I'd add to that: pressure to be strong/expert/emotionless (except anger), a strong social bias against expressing anything ressembling traits traditionally attributed to women, pressure to resolve conflicts adversarially rather than consensually, and a limitation placed on showing love, tenderness, fear, sadness, even joy. With the exception of when you're watching sports, seems like all that is okay then.

Here's the thing: feminists have been working long and hard to educate ourselves about the impact that social conditioning can have on us, and the limitations that we need to struggle against. On a macro scale, that's the patriarchy. On a day-to-day basis, it's constantly challenging ourselves and the people around us to be aware of gender-based oppression, and to try and change it. Worthwhile work, but hard work.

I would argue that the patriarchy decidedly hurts men as well, and it's unfortunate that the MRM folks can't or don't realize that much of what they're upset about has to do with the limitations that it imposes on them. And just like feminists have had to for so many decades, maybe these bitter-seeming men might want to explore what the real adversary is. Because it sure ain't the feminists.

And when patriarchal and oppressive structures are dismantled, everyone wins. It's not a zero-sum game at all.

theleftyinvestor

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ theleftyinvestor
Look at the Women's Temperance movement. It wasn't just into breaking whiskey bottles to spoil the party. It was all tied in with suffrage, emancipation, anti-poverty, anti-violence, international peace, labour solidarity and other progressive political issues. And a big part of that was calling on men to hold up their end of things rather than making things worse. So it's not like it is just a "postmodern" phenomenon.

Oh absolutely, I'm not suggesting this is a new phenomenon. Each generation has seen its own (albeit incremental) set of advancements in women's rights, and with it a new light in which to view men's behaviours. If we could travel back in time and look at how some men treated women in various eras, we'd probably see quite a number of men whose behaviour towards women went way beyond just following the prevailing cultural norms - we'd see men who by the standards of later years were downright sociopathic. 

What's troubling is that the MRM is co-opting a number of genuine problems that men can relate to and bundling them into a value-added misogyny bonus pack. Me, I'm a man and I was assaulted by a man with mental health problems, and damn right it made me angry. Never once did it occur to me that in order to get better I'd have to blame women for not letting assaulted men get enough of the attention. There's plenty of compassion to go around for everyone.

quizzical wrote:

follow the links in that Jezebel article....*blink* my eyes hurt. the website on Ruth's Facebook page for contacting her doesn't seem to support the stance she's taken. 1st thing came to my mind is what is she to the 2 men then?

I don't know her super-well but I have met Ruth (which is not the name I know her by, but it's presently her Facebook name) and she lives in my neighbourhood. I don't think the event title "Has Feminism Gone Too Far?" actually represented her point of view, but it was rather phrased as a question in the same way that high-school debates ask a question that has a pro and a con side. I also can't speak for her, but nothing I've experienced about her personality would lead me to think she is in actual fact anti-feminist. I, for one, think she is rather awesome, but that's based on actual interaction and not derived from a Facebook page.

If I had to (BLINDLY) guess, I'd say perhaps the intent was to see what happens when these guys are forced to actually defend themselves in a debate - and in front of a hostile audience, no less (Commercial Drive is not somewhere you would expect virulent anti-feminists to be welcomed with open arms).

quizzical

what debate? there was just the 2 of them going to speak! did you read anything?

Bacchus

I think they meant the greater debate/theology/argument quizz, not that it was a literal debate. Hope that aids in understanding

quizzical

OFFS... tx for what you believe is an explanation...condescending much?????? btw i don't agree!

Bacchus

*shrugs* sorry if you felt that way. You do that yourself sometimes "did you read anything"

Doug

Men's rights groups are a huge case of not seeing the forest for the trees. They're often very fixated on the issue of bias in the outcome of family court cases in which it's been - they claim - unfairly assumed that women ought to be the guardian of children and don't understand when that happens it's a consequence of sexism that's anti-woman in its effects everywhere else in society. Sure guys, I'm sad that your divorce didn't go well but you aren't going to fix that by blaming women in general and feminists in particular.

Unionist

Tehanu wrote:

And when patriarchal and oppressive structures are dismantled, everyone wins. It's not a zero-sum game at all.

Thank you for that whole post and for dropping by, Tehanu!

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

"Has Feminism Gone too Far?" is a loaded question. The bias is built right in.

How about "Are All Men's Rights Activists Jerks?" 

.

Nah, not even worth it.

*waves wildly to Tehanu* Smile

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I was starting to dread opening this thread, and then, to my ebuillient joy, it caught a Tehanu. Sure, she got away (as she does), but it sure was nice while it lasted.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

You could start with her article in the Atlantic, if you haven't read it already.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/308135/

A lot of what she describes are positive changes, and not all of it new information - that women do the bulk of the work and are in many cases far more effective organizers. That has  been true since hunter gatherer societies. What I don't get is  why is it all framed as a threat to men - right down to the absurd title -  rather than about women taking their rightful place, and breaking an old, oppressive system.

I'm sure it sells more books, but it is also turns something that should be seen as ultimately good for everyone into a lightning rod for these angry guys.

Yes, saw this.  Which is part of why I am reluctant but I also don't mind some of Rosin's writing on Slate.com, so should probably read the whole thing.  But this?  I came away from it disgusted as the essentialism directed at both men and women, insulted at her attitude toward and assumptions about "the working class" (probably because I was raised by a working-class involved father) almost as if they were some seperate species, and the idea that we should feel bad about the loss of destructive macho stereotypes causing men to mope about while women try to do it all.  WTF?  Women just work harder?  Men are unable to cope with a relationship that's a partnership?  Such delicate blossoms.  Give me a break. 

So I'm hoping the book has more to it than this. 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Catchfire wrote:
  This nicely puts the finger on some discomfort I've been feeling with Rosin's book, which, like you, I've only experienced third-hand (although I just read this horrible piece of link-bait by her in The Atlantic). She seems to dissolve male privilege by saying that successful women just ignore it, which really means that they have come up with coping mechanisms for it, often humiliating ones. But she doesn't seem to point out that most men (who still make, on average, far more than women doing the same work), don't even need to make this adjustment. They just get on with it. (At least, I think that's close to what you're saying.)

Edited to avoid triple posting:

Jezebel article summarzing MRA in East Vancouver.

Um, yeah, partly.  There are a lot of men who are adapting quite nicely to the changing social/work geography.   I live with one.  We're both in the middle-aged demographic, we've been part of that change.  On the other hand, there are those who simply refuse to bend and that's where you see women running themselves ragged to be the perfect wife and mother in addition to having a career.  I decided early on I wasn't going to do that and was fortunate enough to find a partner who wasn't interested in being on the sidelines in his personal life.  I have a lack of sympathy for those men who don't suck it up and learn new tricks, and I find it really frustrating as well to see women who enable that kind of breath-holding tantrum. 

The link-bait.  Dear god.  I've got 3 years before my oldest daughter heads to university and that article terrifies me.  You know, I'm all for choice and the empowerment of female sexuality, but I can't see "hook-up culture" as a positive step in that direction.  Outside of that, I've worked in an industry that is still male-dominated (early in my career as a producer I was referred to as "broadcaster bait" by a male colleague, just one story among many) but has been equalizing slowly over the last decade and I have to say that my experience is the women who go along with the rampant sexism aren't the ones who've benefitted or who are much respected then or now.  It could be my own personal bias, but I fail to see the empowerment there. 

PS - Well put, Tehanu!

6079_Smith_W

@ TB

I don't see any reason to assume it would be any different, especially given the title and the cover, and her other writing. And you know what? I have enough seriously good books that I don't have time to read. Opposing positions I can check out on the internet.

Strangely enough, my partner and I were talking two nights ago about another friend being fucked over by her ex regarding child support, even though he's not under any financial stress at all. No, I don't think it is simply a matter of women working harder (I'd say that is the end result), although they do experience a far heavier dose of reality than most men have to deal with.

It makes me wonder what planet these angry guys are living on. I don't consider myself all that enlightened, and even I think you would have to be completely stunned not to notice how many women raise children alone and deal with the enforced responsibility that comes along with that, as opposed to many men, who seem perfectly willing to put themselves first. And yes, I know one or two guys who have gotten a raw deal, but that is so odd that it is pretty much obvious to everyone, whereas women dealing with the fallout is so common that many just don't even notice (or worse - blame them).

Why would a fellow short-change his own child just to feed some resentment he might have over a broken relationship? Why would someone who has the money  refuse to help, and still try to interfere, belitttle and exercise control? It goes beyond just dealing badly with stressful situations. It is selfish and sadistic thinking. As you say, there is a whole dynamic here that Rosin doesn't even touch on. This whole father's rights thing - the cause of the guy who was supposed to speak at the Vancouver event - turns reality upside down, based on a few anecdotes.

Yeah, I have sympathy for some guys, and I think an adversarial approach isn't the best first option. But the way these MRM fellows have twisted reality is laughable. Or would be, if some people didn't get sucked in by it.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Most divorces end in settlements not extended court cases.  For every horror story about a nasty custody fight I probably know of ten other couples that just got on with their lives and worked out the best arrangements they could.  It is not strange that the men who were not responsible in a marriage are also not responsible in a divorce.  My female friends tell me that the ratio of responsible male partners in marriages leaves a lot to be desired so it stands to reason those same guys would continue in their Center of the Universe pathology after a breakup. 

When I was a single parent of two boys I got so tired of women calling me a saint for just being a decent Dad. In fact unlike most single parents I was privileged to have a professional income and a separated spouse who always held up her end of agreements relating to custody.  I was well off but still it was as if being a single Dad was something males just weren't supposed to do.  I think that attitude needs to be put to rest and we need a dialogue that says adults are supposed to be responsible for their own shit, including the children they procreate with another. Enough of the boys will be boys shit.

Men's rights groups are for whiners who have no lives.

Tehanu

Catchfire wrote:

I was starting to dread opening this thread, and then, to my ebuillient joy, it caught a Tehanu. Sure, she got away (as she does), but it sure was nice while it lasted.

babble's catch and release program? Wink

[Waves happily back!]

Aristotleded24

Tehanu wrote:
The problem I see with the men's rights movement is that they've bought into the idea (which in itself is pretty patriarchal) that it's a zero-sum game. A fight, or a war, or a constant battle. Women gain, men lose. Ergo, feminism = bad and let's harken back to a time when men didn't have to question anything, if that time ever existed.

It sounds like the author of the End of Men has succumbed to the win/lose dichotomy as well.

I call that lazy thinking. Most of the examples cited above in which men suffer can be directly attributed to patriarchy and traditional masculinity. War. Violence. Inability or unwillingness to admit "weakness" in the case of something like depression. Even being concerned about being seen as a rapist, or not clearly understanding and internalizing the importance of consent in sexual situations.

I'd add to that: pressure to be strong/expert/emotionless (except anger), a strong social bias against expressing anything ressembling traits traditionally attributed to women, pressure to resolve conflicts adversarially rather than consensually, and a limitation placed on showing love, tenderness, fear, sadness, even joy. With the exception of when you're watching sports, seems like all that is okay then.

Here's the thing: feminists have been working long and hard to educate ourselves about the impact that social conditioning can have on us, and the limitations that we need to struggle against. On a macro scale, that's the patriarchy. On a day-to-day basis, it's constantly challenging ourselves and the people around us to be aware of gender-based oppression, and to try and change it. Worthwhile work, but hard work.

I would argue that the patriarchy decidedly hurts men as well, and it's unfortunate that the MRM folks can't or don't realize that much of what they're upset about has to do with the limitations that it imposes on them. And just like feminists have had to for so many decades, maybe these bitter-seeming men might want to explore what the real adversary is. Because it sure ain't the feminists.

And when patriarchal and oppressive structures are dismantled, everyone wins. It's not a zero-sum game at all.

[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i1W0z2Zdqs]George Carlin takes on this idea[/url]

Sean in Ottawa
shmiggen

Tehanu wrote,

"Here's the thing: feminists have been working long and hard to educate ourselves about the impact that social conditioning can have on us, and the limitations that we need to struggle against. On a macro scale, that's the patriarchy. On a day-to-day basis, it's constantly challenging ourselves and the people around us to be aware of gender-based oppression, and to try and change it. Worthwhile work, but hard work.

I would argue that the patriarchy decidedly hurts men as well, and it's unfortunate that the MRM folks can't or don't realize that much of what they're upset about has to do with the limitations that it imposes on them. And just like feminists have had to for so many decades, maybe these bitter-seeming men might want to explore what the real adversary is. Because it sure ain't the feminists.

And when patriarchal and oppressive structures are dismantled, everyone wins. It's not a zero-sum game at all."

 

I think the problem with the above statements is the over-reliance on some weird conspiracy theory known as patriarchy.  Patriarchy theory is kinda like astrology.  Every time I hear it I cringe, because it isn't real scholarship.  It's the academic equivalent of tarot cards, wicca or something.  This is really what the MRM is all about: to mitigate the irrational fear of men.  All of you have assumed that the MRM has the same stated goals of feminism, which is to establish political and social equality.  It isn't.  We men already have that.  The MRM seeks only the correction of feminist historiography, which is laden with misandry, and the widespread acceptance of the natural sciences as a way of understanding society.  Specifically, evo-psych as a means to understanding the relations between the sexes.  Marxist feminist conspiracies such as 'the patriarchy' are laughable, and everyone knows it.  It is our reptilian overlords which control everything, not some quack sociology theory from the 1960's.

Executive summary:  the MRM wishes to revise feminism, to modernize it, to correct feminist historiography and to establish the natural sciences and evo-psych as the repository of knowledge for male/female behavior.

Maysie Maysie's picture

The feminism forum always needs some Mansplaining.

Not.

P.S. Fuck off.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Well, I for one am relieved we can finally eliminate this pesky feminism thing. Thanks, shmiggen! Also: you're banned.

Pages