MRAs: A bunch of crybabies?

11 Mar

I spent a little time this weekend conversating with a men’s rights activist (MRA) on his insane little blog, which I posted something about here (that has now been deleted because it sucked), and I’ve decided to tackle the borderline oxymoronic concept of men’s rights activism. I’ll do my best to avoid mischaracterizations, because that’s an MRA tactic; most of their arguments are made in genuine Bill O’Reilly style by cherry-picking quotes in order to create straw men in place of legitimate arguments and by exaggerating the frequency and importance of such “outrages” as they think prove their argument that men’s rights are in serious danger of being trampled upon by “lesbians,” “feminazis,” and “lying whores” (their favorite labels for women who aren’t picking up what they’re laying down). Besides, I don’t think I’ll need to resort to any of that, since the general concept and all of its tenets are entertainingly absurd enough on their own.

Not all MRAs are advancing the same set of issues, but the Wikipedia entry (see what an advanced researcher I am?) has outlined the central features of the (capital M, capital R, capital M) Men’s Rights Movement as “the promotion of male equality, The rights to equal treatment in custody battles, rights, and freedoms in society [sic].” Their main areas of concern are “the effect that Divorce, Custody, Rape and Violence Against Women Act-type laws have on men’s rights and freedoms. It is argued that these laws cause violation of Constitutional rights such as the right to a fair trial and the right to due process [sic again, sheez].” In addition, “Men’s Rights Advocacy and Masculinism also promote the concept of ‘defending male identity’ [sic, what's with all the capitalization?].” They’re also concerned that our education system, health industry, and laws leave them unprotected from the predations of vindictive and man-hating women. Let’s have a look at these concepts one at a time, shall we?

  1. The promotion of male equality. Equality with what, or whom? I have been thinking about this all day (OK, 45 seconds), and I cannot seem to come up with a group of people with higher legal, cultural, and social status than men. Are these guys honestly claiming that they are subordinated to women somehow? Whatever claims MRAs want to make about our legal system (which I’ll get to shortly), none of them can seriously claim that the status of men in our (or any) society is unequal to that of women.
  2. The right to equal treatment in custody battles. I’ll say up front that I think fathers, unless they’re total assholes, ought to be involved in their children’s lives. I had one around and it was an important factor in my personal development. That said, most fathers are fairly minor actors in the raising of children, which is simply a manifestation of the fact that our culture places the onus of childcare on women, and the fact that childbearing and rearing is seen in our society as nearly synonymous with womanhood. If these MRAs want to get all butt-hurt about the fact that our court system tends to favor mothers in custody hearings (which I doubt anyway), they ought to at least take these factors into account. I’m willing to bet that a lot of these disgruntled fathers, if they were honest with themselves, would have to admit that before the end of the relationship, it was the mother who provided most of the care for the child(ren), otherwise the judge would be unlikely to award custody to the mother in the first place. That men feel entitled to a woman’s labor in the form of childcare, and then to custody of the child(ren) that she raised in the event that the relationship dissolves, is pretty unreasonable. I think that in normal cases custody ought to be awarded in a ratio proportionate to the time that each parent spent with the child before the dissolution of the relationship.
  3. Divorce and men’s rights. We live in a society in which a large portion of women’s labor goes unpaid, and in which women’s paid labor is undervalued. Our social mores have loosened to the point where divorce is more often considered a given than an unthinkable outcome for a marriage (I ain’t saying that’s necessarily a bad thing). That combination of factors puts women in an often untenable situation: they are asked to give up their own career/life plans in order to work in the home, or to put their careers on hold in order to provide care for children, and are thus economically dependent on men, or at least put at an economic disadvantage by being out of the labor market during a crucial period in the development of their careers. That the law (partially) takes this into account is to be expected. If a woman expends her labor in order to make a home from which her partner can work outside the home to earn money, she ought to be considered to have contributed to the family’s combined property. MRAs assume women ought to be left at the mercy of their husbands in the event of divorce. I understand that they find the thought of having to give up a portion of their assets disquieting, but I imagine that fear is a little easier to deal with than the fear of being abandoned with no money and no job skills, which is something that many women, especially those in the generation before ours, are faced with. Men can’t expect the freedom to divorce dependent partners at will, and also the freedom to leave those partners with nothing with which to support themselves. And community property laws work both ways; if a woman earns a larger amount of money than a man, she may also be required to turn a portion of her income over to him after a divorce. The fact that this rarely happens doesn’t make the laws unfair, it merely points to the fact that men are still paid more than women for the most part and that women are rarely the chief breadwinners in a family because they are usually expected to take a backseat to their husbands and take care of the work required in the home.
  4. Rape and men’s rights. Twisty Faster wrote a post once about the legal presumption of innocence in rape cases in which she posited an alternative legal framework in which rape accusations were presumed legitimate unless proven otherwise. As at odds as that idea is with the entirety of American legal philosophy, it is worth thinking about. As things are now, as few as 10% of rapes are reported, and among those, as few as 6% of the rapes that are reported result in convictions. Those are pretty shitty odds. The reason the odds are so bad are many, but the chief reason for the low number of victims that report their assaults is the humiliation and trauma involved in most rape investigations and trials. Most rape cases come down to an accusation and a denial which, because defendants are presumed innocent, means that cases are usually decided in the defendant’s favor. I find it hard to believe that 94% or so of women who report rapes are vindictive assholes who are willing to endure being called a whore in open court in order to get back at a man who slighted them. I don’t deny that false rape accusations happen, but the numbers have to be quite a bit lower than that. Let’s say, as a joke, that 1 in 100 rape accusations is false. Without evidence other than victim testimony, that 1 in 100 is still likely to walk on the charges. But with as many as 94 in 100 cases decided in the defendant’s favor, doesn’t that mean that about 93 rapists are walking free? The MRA obsession with false rape charges, the arguments for which are usually based on overblown interpretations of extremely rare cases, points to a general reluctance to afford women the right to decide what they will do with their own bodies, a reluctance that stems from the male sense of entitlement to women’s sexual favors. It’s that same entitlement that fuels most sexual assault. Surprise, surprise. Men’s rights, gawd. How about the right to not get raped?
  5. Domestic violence and men’s rights. If a man beats anyone, he ought to go to jail. If a woman beats anyone, she ought to go to jail. What’s the problem? Again, this is an issue of MRAs claiming that women falsely accuse men of domestic violence out of vengeance. That probably happens sometimes. Know what happens more? Women being beaten to death by their partners, many of whom have been picked up for domestic violence several times before they eventually kill their partners. There just isn’t a way to structure the law to deal effectively and uniformly with cases in which two emotional (opposite of rational) people are giving contradictory stories, as evidenced by how many men go free on domestic violence charges when there is no corroborating evidence to back up the victim’s testimony. Our legal system favors defendants in all cases in which the case comes down to conflicting testimony, which means that more often than not, men who assault women are not punished.
  6. Men’s rights and the law in general. Our legal system, and its central concept of the “rights”of “citizens”, is a descendant of the ancient Roman law system that spawned both concepts and the British legal system from which our own legal tradition takes most of its central tenets. Rights in the Roman, British, and American legal systems transcend the rule of man and inhere in each citizen under a rule of law that binds all citizens equally. But citizenship has been founded on several bases throughout history, the most common of which has been maleness, the second most common being property (and/or slave) ownership. After a tradition of defining citizenship through maleness for over 2000 years, women have been awarded citizenship by men (despite the fact that legal rights purportedly transcend the rule of man) just in the last century or so in the western world. But equality before the law, which all men enjoy in America, is something that American women have not yet attained, despite being recently included in the category of “citizen” that ought to have guaranteed equality before the law according to the foundations of our own legal philosophy. We still, 43 years after the Civil Rights Act that awarded equal rights to all men under the law, do not have an Equal Rights Amendment for women. Additionally, as of today, men still make the laws in America; of 435 members of the House of Representatives, only 70 are women, and of the 100 members of the Senate, a mere 16 are women. For those who are worried about “legislating from the bench,” there is ONE woman on the Supreme Court. I find it difficult to take pity on men for their supposed lack of legal rights within a system that they have created, that they control, and that they administer according to their own needs.
  7. The healthcare industry. Be serious. Men run the health care industry, as evidenced by the kinds of “advances” that industry makes year after year. We have Rogaine. We have Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. We don’t have a male birth control pill. Women are still held accountable for birth control, and most hormonal birth control methods pose serious risks to women’s health that include strokes and death. Plus, women’s health care costs more than men’s. Let’s face it, we are all in a shitty situation when it comes to health care, but men created this system, and it serves their needs better than it serves ours.
  8. The protection of male identity. OK, Bill Maher. I’m so sick of hearing about the “pussification” of American men. Jesus. Any time a dude treats a woman decently and realizes that the NFL is a boring, corporatized insult to the intellect, some asshole comes out and calls him a faggot. There is NO SUCH THING as a “male” or “female” behavior. All the bullshit macho nonsense these guys believe is inborn is virtually absent in cultures that are in some ways much more misogynistic than our own (India, China in some ways), but why would I expect an MRA to be interested in evidence?
  9. The educational system. MRAs are concerned that our educational system devalues and sidelines boys. What a fucking laugh. This argument is based on complaints that girls are allowed to wear things like “Boys are stupid” t-shirts without getting in trouble, whereas boys could do no such equivalent thing. That makes about as much sense as the old “It’s OK for black people to be racist, so why can’t I say the n-word?” argument. Don’t get me wrong, I think those t-shirts are stupid and parents shouldn’t let their daughters out of the house in something so uncool, and I suppose no one ought to be wearing fashions that denigrate any group based on immutable characteristics, but is this really a sign that our educational system is anti-male? There’s a general argument by MRAs that boys just aren’t free to be themselves at school anymore, that women run the place. They complain that girls are allowed to vent publicly about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault, and the boys “just have to sit there and take it.” What it looks like to me is that schools are trying to correct the long-standing problem of unequal treatment and rampant sexual harassment. As it is, girls are still being discouraged from pursuing subjects like mathematics and science that would bolster their future earning potential by teachers who (consciously or not) think girls ought to study “feminine” things like the humanities, and teachers still tend to call on male students more often than female students and assume that their male students are brighter than their female ones. Our entire public school system was designed in the first place to train boys for the workforce, a legacy that has far from disappeared. What these MRAs are complaining about is the gradual (though far from complete) diminishing of male privilege in schools, which they incorrectly perceive as the ascendancy of girls over boys.

This last point highlights the central feature of the MRA movement: these men see a zero-sum game when they look at relations between men and women. When women gain, they lose. MRAs are expressing the kind of anger that comes from feeling threatened but not being able to say clearly why. They feel entitled to the privileges they have come to see as their birthright, and when women want the same kind of treatment that they feel entitled to, they feel that their territory is being encroached upon. That mental process is understandable (though not excusable), but it’s intellectually weak and dishonest to argue that men’s “rights” are in danger. What these guys are doing is fairly transparent: they’re arguing for the maintenance of male entitlement and privilege and for the limitation of women’s rights vis-à-vis men, not for the protection of men’s rights. They can euphemize that in any terms they want to, but they still sound like a bunch of fucking crybabies.


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41 Responses to “MRAs: A bunch of crybabies?”

  1. syndicalist702 March 11, 2008 at 12:11 PM #

    Awesome entry. I truly can’t explain why I was ever threatened by women becoming more equal to men. I couldn’t think of any good reason to stay that way.

    So I didn’t. I became the guy who thinks sports are boring (I was always that way) and treats women like equals. I feel more at peace with myself as a result. I’ve let go of that insecurity – which was like cutting loose a ball and chain of nonsense that was only dragging me down. I can’t speak for the experiences of other men who have “come to the Dark Side”, which is what I jokingly call the phenomenon of males aligning with feminism since so many men are so threatened by the movement, but I feel a greater sense of freedom having done so. I’m no longer so restricted by the rigid gender roles our society expects.

  2. Genevieve March 11, 2008 at 8:03 PM #

    Yay, decimation of the ideals of the MRA movement! I feel happy, thanks for this!

    And, wow, syndacalist–you are living proof that people do not have to stay in their rigid belief systems forever and ever amen. Thanks for sharing your story, it makes me hopeful for the world.

  3. Aerik March 29, 2008 at 12:48 AM #

    Wow. Good post. I fight an MRA every day at reddit. Look at the retarded rebuttal link he posted.

    http://boysite.info/blog/2008/03/28/are-all-mras-crybabies-response/

  4. bill March 29, 2008 at 7:33 AM #

    as a man in a woman-dominated profession (nursing) for over 20 years, i can say that women are every bit as sexist as men; and being human, woman are just as liable to take advantage of any inequality that helps them get what they want. the advances in gender-equality that society has seen over the past few decades will only continue to grow when both men and women begin to consider each other more as human beings and less as objects to use to their advantage.

  5. Roko March 29, 2008 at 3:02 PM #

    I’ll tell you what, when women have a long legacy of being forced into wars for centuries for no other reason that sporting a certain appendage, THEN talk about equality.

    Until then , shut the fuck up about demanding your own piece of the pie. You all quite clearly haven’t earned it.

  6. Nine Deuce March 29, 2008 at 5:00 PM #

    Roko, do women start wars? Until they do, YOU shut the fuck up.

  7. Drakkar Noir March 31, 2008 at 7:28 PM #

    Who gives a shit about wars? I need to go into nursing apparently! I want to be sexually harassed by several women!

  8. Nine Deuce April 3, 2008 at 7:03 PM #

    Aerik – I saw that guy’s “rebuttal.” It really was stupid. I wrote a response on his page, which was probably a waste of my time, but I had to. It was just so stupid.

  9. BUTTKICKER 69 April 4, 2008 at 2:53 AM #

    WELL I CAN SEE THAT MEN ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS OR RIGHTS FROM THIS BLOG. MY MOTHER IS A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN WHO WOULD NEVER LIE ABOUT BEING RAPED BUT IF YOU DON’T THINK THAT WOMEN LIE ABOUT BEING RAPED TO GET BACK AT A MAN THAT DOESN’T LOVE HER THAN YOU ARE LIVING IN A DREAMLAND. I THINK THAT IT IS RIGHT FOR YOU TO STICK UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS AND THAT IS ONE OF THE THINGS I HAVE ALWAYS AGREED WITH THAT YOU DO ON YOUR PAGE. BUT IT IS NOT RIGHT FOR YOU TO CRITICIZE OTHERS FOR WANTING TO EXPRESS THERE RIGHTS EITHER. THIS IS AMERICA. THE LAND OF THE FREE. REMEMBER THAT. YOU MIGHT THINK THAT YOUR FREEDOMS AND OTHER FREEDOMS CANNOT LIVE TOGETHER BUT AMERICAN HISTORY HAS SHOWN THAT THAT IS NOT TRUE. YOU MAY NOT LIKE MRAS AND THEY DO NOT HAVE TO BE YOUR FRIENDS BUT EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FOR THE SAME REASON THAT THE 2ND AMENDMENT CAN NEVER BE TAKEN AWAY FROM US. WE MUST ALL DEFEND OUR LIBERTY NO MATTER WHAT EVEN IF WE DISAGREE AND THAT IS SOMETHING I THINK EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD UNDERSTAND NO MATTER WHAT SIDE OF THE POLITICAL FENCE THEY LIVE ON. OPINIONS ARE NOT AMERICAN. FREEDOM IS AMERICAN.

  10. Arch April 5, 2008 at 9:24 AM #

    “and in which women’s paid labor is undervalued”
    An oft quoted myth. Studies that take into account as many relevant latent variables (occupation, experience, etc) as possible find a wage disparity of about 98%, which could be due to anything from discrimination to any number of additional, unmeasured latent variables: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_disparity

    “I find it hard to believe that 94% or so of women who report rapes are vindictive assholes”
    No one claims this. No one in their right mind would. MRA’s only claim that it does happen, that _some_ women take advantage of law and society’s empathies towards women to their own benefit. I somehow don’t think this escaped you… yet you went to the extreme anyway to make a rhetoric point, and to decry a genuine one without confronting it. I like that you use the straw man in one section of your argument whilst condemning your opponents for using it in another.

    Your suggestion that girls are encouraged to pursue humanities rather than sciences is ridiculous. While it undoubtedly does happen, it is not some widespread epidemic that is holding women back. Most women choose these paths for themselves. Physically, mentally, and genetically, men and women _are_ different, no amount of feminist theory will change that. Men as a group are better at math and science than women as a group, women are better at writing and language skills. This is not the same as saying men or women are “smarter” or anything like that. In fact, the differences are so small that they only surface when you look at extremely large groups of people. The distributions of intelligence (with respect to either math or language) are nearly identical, but slightly offset. (This means that the probabilities of a male Einstein and a female Einstein [Einstein meaning someone who is exceptionally skilled at math and science] being born in a given moment are nearly identical, because of the shape of the distributions dominates over the small offset between them, when considering the limiting extremes. Likewise for people who are exceptional at language and writing.) It is a combination of internal and environmental conditions that gives us reality; women are not being mass “tricked” into less lucrative fields.

    I find your argument against MRA’s distasteful. Granted, many MRA’s go too far (as do some feminists…), but that shouldn’t detract from what they fundamentally stand for.

    From your “about” page:
    “I am totally going to talk authoritatively about things I don’t know shit about. It’s one of my hobbies.”

    That much is obvious. At least you admit that you are full of shit.

  11. Nine Deuce April 5, 2008 at 5:25 PM #

    Arch – Sorry, but Wikipedia isn’t exactly the world’s foremost authority on the wage gap. Why don’t you take factors into account like fields like retail in which companies associated with men pay their employees 25-40% more than companies associated with women. An example would be male district managers working for Kenneth Cole getting paid on average 25% more than those working for Victoria’s Secret (who are almost all female). You’re right, there are a lot of complexities to this issue, but they aren’t the ones you refer to. Women make different career choices because they are pressured to by our society’s idea of what it means to be a woman. They are also channeled into pink collar jobs that limit their earning potential, the “occupation” and “experience” difference you allude to but clearly don’t understand.

    That section on rape was most certainly not a straw man. It was constructed to show that, although there are women who make false rape claims (I tossed out a very high estimate of 1 in 100, which I doubt), there are many more men who go free on rape charges. When only 6% of rape cases end in conviction (slightly more in Australia), one would have to believe that 94% of women who file charges are lying to say that the system works in favor of women. What’s of more concern, that one in a hundred rape charges is false (the post also explained that false rape charges nearly always end in acquittal), or that 94 in 100 rapists are getting away with their crimes? Did you even read the post? I notice that you had nothing to say about my discussion of law, which shows that our legal system favors men in assault and rape cases. Nice try, though.

    You are an absolute fool if you think biology dictates women and men’s paths in school more than socialization does. Even rudimentary Google research will show you otherwise.

    When I said on my about page that I would talk authoritatively about things I don’t know about, I was referring to things like TV shows that I refuse to watch, not issues I care deeply about. You can find my argument distasteful, but you cannot legitimately claim that it is illogical or unfounded. If you really want to argue with me, come up with some data, but don’t come here with bunch of half-wit MRA bullshit and groundless insults and expect to convince anyone of anything.

  12. K B April 24, 2008 at 6:01 AM #

    Bill – women are just as capable as perpetuating sexism, but the fact that one of the few places where women dominate (and here only because it nursing as a profession was created to benefit soldiers in the Crimean war, and accentuating the gender role preconceptions about women being the caretakers) would be used to try and counter claims that men dominate the entirety of Western society seems to reinforce the idea that male privilege is something so assumed that any place where men *aren’t* quite as privileged is so noteworthy. The best thing to do, of course, would be to acknowledge that neither case of sexism is good, but since the greater number and depth of sexist expectations are placed or imposed upon women or are more difficult to fulfill for women, that even to address female issues exclusively would be of great benefit to the members of both sexes.

  13. Hannah May 5, 2008 at 3:50 AM #

    As a rape victim, the idea that the MRA even exists is disgusting to me. However, I would like to point out a couple things in regards to, “There is NO SUCH THING as a “male” or “female” behavior. All the bullshit macho nonsense these guys believe is inborn is virtually absent in cultures that are in some ways much more misogynistic than our own (India, China in some ways), but why would I expect an MRA to be interested in evidence?”. In fact, with recent studies into surgical and hormonal transgender transformations, many attitudes and stereotypical personalities have been linked to hormone levels of estrogen and testosterone. Once altered, individuals experience a complete change in mindset, likes and dislikes. Not to say that the person as a whole has changed, but that significant changes do occur. I’m not saying that certain traits are absolute in any gender, as many women have high testosterone levels and many men have high estrogen levels. However, I am saying that extreme fluctuations with these hormones do alter the way people think in general.

  14. julie June 14, 2008 at 5:54 PM #

    I can’t understand how someone can consider their own personal thoughts valid argument on something as critical as Human Rights.

    Yes, men are being discriminated against. They are the last to enter the “rights” arena.

    And sadly, governments are having a hard time convincing males to speak up because of idiotic people putting them down. Police forces are determined that somehow they will be arresting rapists of males. Of course it doesn’t make it easy when feminists come out publicly and say “I am glad men are getting raped in prisons. Now they know how it feels”.

    Is there a sane rational person out there who can explain how this sort of behaviour from women in power is acceptable. Would we accept men to say this about female rape victims?

    Anyhow, here is a government document to show you how far (we have just started) men’s rights have come. It is sad that the 11 other genders came before a male. And it is sad that feminists are reluctantly providing the information.

    Yes please, explain that one also. How would it go down if straight women were working out gay men’s rights. Thanx.

  15. Nine Deuce June 14, 2008 at 5:56 PM #

    You are truly delusional, my friend.

  16. julie June 14, 2008 at 6:25 PM #

    Oops, link didn’t come through.

  17. Nine Deuce June 14, 2008 at 6:26 PM #

    The link didn’t come through because I disabled it. Read my comment policy.

  18. Captain MRA June 14, 2008 at 7:09 PM #

    Discrimination is to be identified by the victim.

    If a person feels that something is bigotted and degrading it is for they and they alone to decide.

    But then I can see you are one of those people who deliberately blinds yourself to any opinion that differs from your own – ironically, the very same trait you are speaking out against.

    Knowing how difficult it usually is trying to get someone like yourself to listen to reason I normally would not bother trying, but for the sake of your readers, just three recent events come to mind.

    If there is no discrimination against men in healthcare, why did one UK equality watchdog recently order the National Health Service that they must end care bias against men?

    Why did the Norwegian government recently set up a 32 men panel to report on equality issues that affected men?

    Why has the UK Minister for Women, Harriet Haman, recently backed proposals put forward by a Government funded report to assist fathers in getting more flexible and paid paternity leave?

    But it is rather amusing to see someone writing about an issue which they clearly know nothing about. You also presume that all MRAs are anti-feminist – you did not even get this one right. I am pro-feminism.

  19. Nine Deuce June 14, 2008 at 8:36 PM #

    Normally I’d delete anything that resorted to dumb insults in place of any kind of reasoned argument (see my comment policy), but I’m feeling charitable.

    I’m perfectly willing to listen to reason, but your arguments are myopic and don’t take anything besides a few rare examples into account. You don’t seem to understand that you guys created and run the system we live in, and that being a dude isn’t the constant struggle for survival you want to make it out to be.

    I know more about these issues than you’d care to realize. I don’t doubt that there are men who are pro-feminist and also MRAs, but that doesn’t make their logic sound. That there are instances in which men are not treated exactly the same way women are I do not argue with, but that it means that men’s rights are in danger is a bit much. Men and women are not, after all, the same in every sense. Sometimes different treatment is warranted, and other times it’s not. For example, women require different medical treatment than men do.

    Who is the watchdog group? An MRA group that doesn’t like women getting special care for women’s issues? Are they claiming men are being discriminated against because of unequal funding? Women require special care, and thus more money, in order to maintain the same level of health men maintain without special care. That’s a byproduct of our male-centered healthcare industry.

    I don’t dispute that men ought to get more rights at work that would allow them to be more involved parents. I think men ought to be more involved in parenting, and any measure that helps with that I support fully. In fact, any feminist who doesn’t support a program that would allow men to take on a larger share of parenting responsibilities might want to consider finding something else to call herself.

    I’m not taking issue with those sorts of measures, what I am taking issue with is the arguments by MRAs that they are being put upon by the general operation and structure of our cultural, social, and legal systems, when that just isn’t the case. The fact that I disagree with you does not mean that I’m blinding myself to your viewpoint, it means that I’ve considered it and think you’re missing a large part of the picture. People generally see what they want to. It takes a brave and intelligent person to look beyond their own concerns and try to see things the way others see them. I do my best, and I think I’m successful most of the time. But if you want me to put myself in men’s shoes, why don’t you try putting yourself in women’s shoes? Do you really believe that men are more put upon in society than women are? Really? If so, we can’t have a discussion. If not, then maybe we can.

  20. yohan June 15, 2008 at 1:52 AM #

    I think, the writer is very worried about the Men’s Rights Movement.

    Why should men not complain if they feel discriminated?

    Just a basic question and I see no answer to it in this article.

  21. Steve June 15, 2008 at 1:54 AM #

    It is good to see feminists are talking about MRA’s in such a way. It is showing how scared they are and shows an insite into the substance of feminism. A substance lower than a whine.

  22. Nine Deuce June 15, 2008 at 2:31 AM #

    Steve – Do you mean insight? Insite isn’t a word. Lower than a whine? So the substance of feminism is like a whimper? What the fuck are you talking about?

    yohan – Men can complain all they want, but I don’t have to feel sorry for them. That is my answer, and it’s interwoven throughout the post.

  23. Steve June 15, 2008 at 9:20 AM #

    Wow the only rebutle or substance from a feminist argument is…….drum roll please……. yes, a spelling or grammer mistake.

    lol very funny but I have to say, pretty lame.

  24. Pasatiempo June 15, 2008 at 3:47 PM #

    I did a search on “MRA” and found these entries before Men’s Rights Activist came up:

    Marketing Research Association
    Magnetic Resonance Angiography
    Motorcycle Riders Association
    Mobility Resource Associates
    Mountain Rescue Association
    Mark Russell & Associates
    Metal Roofing Alliance
    Massachusetts Restaurant Association
    Michael Reich & Associates
    Michigan Reading Association

    Were I an MRA, this is what I might do to promote it. First, I’d mention it over and over. Second, I’d write a long post about how I, as a feminist, want the law changed so that upon the mere accusation of rape a man would be castrated and thrown in a cage for 20 years unless he’s able to pull off the cliched impossibility of proving a negative.

    Ya done good dude.

  25. Nine Deuce June 15, 2008 at 4:22 PM #

    Steve – What was I supposed to rebut? You didn’t say anything.

  26. Nine Deuce June 15, 2008 at 4:27 PM #

    Pasatiempo – Dumb. Here’s what I’d do if I wanted to make MRAs look stupid: I’d go comment on blogs refuting MRA stances and make no attempt to confront any of the arguments in the blog.

  27. Pasatiempo June 15, 2008 at 5:04 PM #

    9D: “Here’s what I’d do if I wanted to make MRAs look retarded”

    “If”???? Aren’t you sure? For all that you write about them, you’re not sure??? And am I supposed to believe that somebody has to “make” MRAs look retarded?

    I’m not buying any of it, Clem.

  28. dirtbag June 15, 2008 at 5:42 PM #

    While you’re insulting Steve for misspelling insight, then be reminded that the word you use in the opening sentence of your blog should be conversing, not conversating. It’s “I was conversing with”, or “I was having a conversation with”. Conversating is not a word. It’s used in rap tunes.

    Do women start wars? Yes they do. Read the history books, they are there. It’s still the men who fight them. The GI Janes are a myth. Didn’t Hilary say that she would attack Iran? Please don’t tell me that it’s the women that are the victims of wars. Everyone is the victim of war when they’re in it or in the way of it.

    Fathers play a minor role in their children’s lives? Which fathers are you talking about, and in which world? Your world? I don’t know, but it seems that in my experience, both of my parents had an equal importance in my life. Neither role was minor. The onus of raising was not on my mother, but on both parents. And please, I don’t want to hear about absentee fathers, when I know just as many absentee mothers. I know a lot of people, women included, that were raised by a single father, because either the mother died, or as it was in most cases, she left the husband. Every one of them turned out fine and love their fathers. Hardly a minor role.

    From what I’ve read in all posts by feminists, who is the fucking cry-baby?

  29. Nine Deuce June 15, 2008 at 6:06 PM #

    Good job on not being able to pick up that I was using “conversating” as a joke, dumbass.

    Although I’m a PhD student in history, I’m having trouble figuring out what wars you’re referring to that women started. Example?

    Fathers in a lot of cases do play minor roles in their children’s lives compared to the mother because they work and the mother stays home. I don’t claim that that means they ought not to have parental rights, but if men want things to change, they should help find a solution in which men can play bigger roles in their children’s lives.

    If you want to call feminists cry-babies, give me some evidence.

    You MRAs sure are terrible rhetoricians.

  30. Nine Deuce June 15, 2008 at 6:08 PM #

    I was playing off of what you said, Pasatiempo, or are you too high to remember what you said a few hours ago?

    dirtbag – You have a dilettante’s understanding of history. If you believe wars are started by individual people you’re a fool. There are more forces at work than one individual’s will. And Cixi did not start the Boxer Rebellion. The Boxer Rebellion sprang from religious movements in Shandong province. She only took credit for it once it reached the capital. The wars you are referring to that were started by British women were manifestations of an empire (started by men) making attempts to retain control over territories it was afraid to lose. The people who had the most to lose were usually business interests that had ties with the government, and those female rulers were going along with parliamentary governments’ decisions to go to war. That wars were started in a queen’s name does not mean that she was responsible for all of the factors leading into the conflict. Read a book once in awhile. The internet isn’t a good source for real historical knowledge.

  31. Nine Deuce June 15, 2008 at 7:16 PM #

    This post is officially closed to MRA commenters. Your arguments are too simple-minded for me to take seriously, and you can’t seem to carry on logical discussions. READ MY COMMENT POLICY. If any of you can see past your anger for long enough to conduct a real discussion, I’ll post your comments, but my blog isn’t your blog. You don’t get to come here and use my readership as an audience for your poorly thought-out, misogynistic nonsense.

    Let me tell you who this blog is for. It’s for feminists, it’s for men who support feminists, and it’s for thoughtful and open-minded people who are interested in learning about women’s perspectives. It is not here for people who mistakenly believe that our society treats women fairly and that feminism is useless and wrong. I am more than willing to discuss men’s issues. I don’t deny that there are men who have suffered misfortunes and been discriminated against in one way or another. What I do deny is that our entire social/legal/political/cultural structure is geared in such a way that men always get the short end of the stick.

    If you want to talk about programs that would allow men to work less and thus play a larger role in their children’s lives, I’m on board. If you want to talk about possible solutions to our rather blunt and failing family laws, then we can do that. If you want to talk about how to deal with cases of sex abuse and domestic violence efficiently, we can also do that. But if you just want to come here and say that feminists are wrong because “men suffer too!” I’m not posting your comments. That is a logically flawed argument. I don’t disagree that there are men who are raped, there are men who are abused, there are men who don’t get treated fairly at times. But that does not mean that feminism doesn’t matter, it does not mean that, because one man suffered a rape, the statistically thousands of women who for every man who gets raped also suffer rape have nothing to complain about. That one woman abuses her husband does not mean that the thousands of women who are abused by their partners have no right to complain. Get it?

    I don’t give a shit if you can provide an example of a time a woman did something shitty. I don’t claim men are all bad and women are all angels, which you’d know if you read my blog without letting your anger overpower your reason. I am here to discuss issues, not whether men or women are better. So if all you have to say is that women suck just as much as men for some reason or other, piss off. That kind of thing is beneath me and my readers.

  32. Abc123 June 17, 2008 at 12:18 PM #

    “It’s for feminists, it’s for men who support feminists…”

    Men can’t be feminists?

  33. CJ June 19, 2008 at 6:59 AM #

    MRA’s suck. Just suck. Men’s rights in jeopardy in a freakin’ man’s world? Riiiiiiiight.

    Abc123 –

    I suppose men *could* be feminists, if any were (honestly) so inclined. I’ve never met one. Have you?

  34. Kgun5 June 19, 2008 at 2:41 PM #

    “Men’s rights in jeopardy in a freakin’ man’s world? Riiiiiiiight.”

    Which men do you speak of when you say, “man’s world?” Is it all men, or just the teeny-tiny percentage of old, white moneybags that control just about everything? Do you really equate the average man to those who have all the power? Do you really think that those who DO have the power give a rat’s ass about the common man? Lastly, who do you think the issues discussed here affect more, the common man, or the moneybags of your “man’s world?”

    Divide and conquer…And don’t forget to watch all those old, white men be reelected in November by the primarily female electorate.

    If feminism (and MRAs for that matter) could keep their eyes on the ball for more than 15 seconds before their bitterness gets the best of them, they probably could work together and do some good.

  35. syndicalist702 June 19, 2008 at 9:50 PM #

    abc – I’m reluctant to claim the title “feminist” because there’s too much risk of men like me taking it too far and commandeering the movement. While I definitely support feminism, I recognize that it definitely isn’t my movement in which to be calling any shots. I refer to myself, very carefully, as a feminist sometimes – but more often than not as a feminist supporter or a pro-feminist male. For me, its about what my attitude is and what I do about it rather than what I call myself, anyway.

  36. wiggles June 22, 2008 at 2:06 AM #

    And don’t forget to watch all those old, white men be reelected in November by the primarily female electorate.

    Yeah well we tried to put a woman in the Whitehouse, but the media and the DNC couldn’t shove her out of the running fast enough.

  37. wiggles June 22, 2008 at 9:51 PM #

    BTW, Nine Deuce, I just noticed the question mark at the end of this post title and I’m afraid I have to disagree with it. Not to tell you how to do your job, because your blog is much more successful than mine was, but I think it should be, “MRAs: A Bunch of Fucking Crybabies!

  38. Nine Deuce June 23, 2008 at 2:03 AM #

    I only did that to keep the suspense going until the final judgment.

  39. m Andrea July 1, 2008 at 3:47 AM #

    This was sheer fabulousness. Oh oh oh, yes it is. Excellent!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Redemption Blues » Carnival of Feminists #56 - March 26, 2008

    [...] This brings us on to a glorious, sarcasm-laced demolition of the men’s rights movement, Rage Against the Man-chine’s MRAs: A bunch of fucking crybabies? [...]

  2. Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics, by bell hooks « Editorializing the Editors - June 21, 2008

    [...] mass media to portray the movement as anti-male.  It would also have preempted the formation of an anti-feminist men’s movement.  Often men’s groups were formed in the wake of contemporary feminism that in no way [...]

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