It’s a generally accepted consensus by sane people on the Internet that, among all the various subcultures, there is no bigger group of douchebags than the Men’s Rights Activists.
A brief explanation, in case you’re not familiar with this particular breed of insanity. These are the guys who whine that the single white male is actually the most oppressed minority in the world today due to things like affirmative action, political correctness, and rules about workplace harassment. I don’t need to explain in any great detail about their position because their position is inane. Simply put, these are the guys who mistake the loss of privilege as persecution. They’re the spoiled brats who, when asked to share their toys, pitch a fit about how they’re being mistreated.
They imagine themselves as soldiers in some great war against feminism and/or political correctness and they imagine that they will use their superior maleness and alleged intellectual capabilities to browbeat the world into seeing the truth. Which, of course, is hilarious because the only thing they’re ever going to prove to the world is that they’re spoiled douchebags. They’re not going to affect the change they desire. They’re not going to stop the march towards equality anymore than any previous hate group has done. They’re not a barrier; they’re a speed bump, at best.
The reason why I mention them at all is because of a very poignant comment a friend of mine made on Facebook. He pointed out, correctly, that there is one group Men’s Rights Activists do harm, which is other men:
What’s bothersome is that there are certain areas where greater sensitivity towards men would be nice (like the relative absence of community support for stay-at-home dads) but the irrational fucknuttery of the “men’s rights activists” sours that Discussion quickly.
But of course, a manly man wouldn’t bother to be a stay-at-home dad, because that’s wimmen’s work, amirite? It couldn’t possibly be that there are real mans who would rise to the challenge and opportunity of being the primary caregiver to a child. An Alpha Male would never do such a thing! Only beta or gamma men would allow themselves to be pushed around in such a form. Pawns of the matriarchy, etc. etc., rabble rabble rabble.
The irony of the whole situation is that, barring a very few actual male-hating fringe-extremists, it’s probably the feminists who have the backs of all the stay-at-home-dads out there, not the so-called Men’s Rights Activists.
Just something to think about.
6 thoughts on “The Irony Of Men’s Rights Activists”
I think you can cheat yourself out of a worthwhile dialogue by lumping all Men’s Rights Activist ideas together and throwing them out as whining from the privileged.
For example, based on standardized test scores and graduation rates, why are women outperforming men at all levels of education? Why is the gap larger for minorities? I’ve seen theories ranging from “girls are just smarter” to “modern schools don’t cater to how boys learn” and “teachers marginalize their male students.” Personally, I find both the first and third suggestions hard to swallow, but the idea that boys and girls simply learn differently seems reasonable.
Other ideas fall distinctly into feminism, if seen from the right angle. For example, there is a definite perception gap between men and women who enjoy pastimes more regularly associated with the opposite sex. Now, an MRA might say that women are lauded for manly activities and men are disparaged for womanly activities, though that would only be half true. In truth, women who take part in traditionally masculine activities tend to be approached incredulously. The whole “fake gamer girl” thing is a perfect example. For some reason, people think that if a girl says she plays video games, she must be lying to get the attention of boys. I’ve known plenty of gamer girls in my life, and none of them have been fakes, and none of them chose to play games just to get close to gamer guys. That said, if you were a guy who decided to take up scrapbooking, you may well get called a pansy. That’s equally unfair.
I also look at this whole “Women sleep with douchebags” thing that MRA’s espouse, along with the feminine equivalent that “Men marry bitches.” In both cases I see an oddly antagonist undertone. Note that women “sleep with” douchebags, suggesting that the goal for a guy in a relationship should be sex. Likewise, the goal for a woman in a relationship is commitment. Why does that dichotomy exist? What does it say about our culture? Moreover, why are “douchebags” and “bitches” the ones winning at this “game?” Is this a situation where the “losers” are jealous of the “winners?” Are the “betas” just mad that they aren’t “alphas?” I have my own theory, which I’ve come to from seeing a lot of Bridezillas, that emotional abusive partners breed dependency in their partners. I think that fact should be more heavily publicized, because it would really help both men and women escape from cycles of abuse.
I agree with the points you’re making but I think they prove the claim I’m trying to make in the post. The point is that there “is” a valuable discussion that needs to be had about some male-specific issues, like support for stay-at-home-dads and male performance in education and these guys are preventing that from happening.
The problem is that I have yet to see a single MRA actually champion any such issue in a reasonable and non-insane way. If such a MRA (which I doubt) is out there, they are being silenced by the braying of their louder brethren. The only MRA representation that exists in the collective consciousness are the assholes who show up in the comments section of certain Cracked articles (http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-gamer-comments-that-give-straight-white-guys-bad-name/) and Scalzi’s post on the subject (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/).
There won’t be a worthwhile dialogue as long as the majority of the other side has the same logic and discourse as a climate change denier. There does need to be real discussion on the issues of gender, for both sides, but these guys are making that impossible. To be a MRA is to claim that the straight white male is being persecuted and that’s just blatantly untrue. We have more privilege than any other demographic on the entire planet. If a MRA is “not” trying to make such a claim, I would argue that they’re not actually representing MRA and would probably be more akin to a general humanist.
I think an MRA can reasonably make the claim that entitlements and a focus on “equality of outcomes” are not the appropriate solutions for creating an “equality of opportunities.” For example, some people point at women not going into the sciences as proof-positive that there is discrimination at work. However, recent studies have shown that women with high quantitative reasoning also tend to have better verbal skills than their male counterparts, and that they tend to find more lucrative opportunities in business and other fields which utilize their verbal skills more fully. If that’s the case, then maybe it’s a little silly to incentivize women-in-science. You are actually hurting those women by steering them away from potentially better career choices.
Similarly, does having a racial quota for universities actually help those minority groups? If an inner city black youth has difficulties getting into college because he’s been failed by the public school system, what are his chances of success once he’s been let into school? Perhaps it makes more sense to focus effort on crime in those neighborhoods and improving primary education so that they’ll be ready for college when the time comes. Likewise, maybe efforts should be made to offer tutoring in the first year to those students identified as “at risk” of failure based on socio-economic factors, regardless of race.
I’ve seen some of the studies detailing that about the differences between male and female brains, quantitative reason, verbal skills, etc. And while there might be enough differences there to account for a small variation in the ratio of male scientists to female scientists, I think the fact that the percentage of science and engineering degrees is roughly 10% (according to a 2003 study I saw, might be out of date at this point), indicates that social pressure and pernicious gender norms are the far more likely cause.
This is just another “Dishonest Argument” written by an insecure individual who feels threatened by men who refuse to live on their knees and dare to stand up for themselves and their brothers.
I’d love for you to actually try to prove your claims in any meaningful fashion instead of just employing an ad hominem attack that fails to demonstrate why your opinion should be taken seriously. Until then, feel free to keep on proving my point for me.