By Sammy Allouba
Much has been made of the men’s rights movement, especially in light of Elliot Rodger’s murderous rampage at the University of California. Numerous websites, whether it’s the Daily Kos or even Cracked.com, the self-proclaimed geniuses of the Internet, are taking up arms, calling the men’s movement a hate group comprised of misogynistic whiners whose only goal is to oppress women and put men back in charge of the world. Here’s my response to the lot of you.
You’re all wrong.
The men’s rights movement is an equality movement that aims to address the inequalities suffered by men and boys via cultural change. Even feminists (athough typically not that vocal about it) acknowledge that male members of society suffer from their fair share of inequity and injustice. I’m not entirely clear on why fighting for the rights of men and boys is a problem. I’m also not entirely clear on why pointing out how feminism’s pervasive influence on society has contributed to this inequality is a problem and why, despite its claims to the contrary, feminism maintains these inequalities while professing to care about the suffering of male members of society. Mind you, feminism is not the only problem men have to put up with in the struggle for equality, as gynocentrism and tradcons are also part of the equation—but that’s a subject for another post.
It needs to be said that every movement, political group, religious group, or what have you will always have radicals within it. There will always be fringe members who say truly outlandish things and advocate for violent crime. Popular examples include New Black Panthers King Samir Shabazz and former Al Qaeda leader and Muslim extremist Osama bin Laden. In the realm of gender politics, we MRAs have our attention drawn primarily to radicals within the feminist movement, both past and present. Trust me when I say there’s half a library’s worth of quotations to choose from. These are women who advocated for violence against men, whether it was aggravated assault, murder, or even eugenics. Amazingly, some of the work is categorized as satire rather than the hateful vitriol it really is. The trouble today, however, is that these women are still taken seriously by the modern feminist movement. They are seen as heroes and revolutionaries of the movement, and the worst part is that this concept of radical feminism has reached some truly scary heights.
There are also radicals within the men’s rights movement—individuals who, for one reason or another, say some truly awful and misogynistic things. They do exist—you can find them all over the Internet—and we must acknowledge them. The main difference when distinguishing feminism from the men’s movement is that within feminism, misandry is tolerated and even legitimized under the guise of, you guessed it, satire. If the hashtag #killallwomen was trending, I think it’s pretty safe to say Internet feminists would be up in arms, with the female blogosphere screaming about the neverending online harassment of women, no matter how many times someone (a man or a woman) might say it’s only satire. MRAs and anti-feminists alike will call out these hateful online trends and use them as proof that feminism isn’t interested in the well-being of men as they are only further spreading misandry. The usual response from the feminist camp is the world-famous “not all feminists are like that.”
In the men’s rights movement, however, we do not tolerate misogyny. Yes, we do call it out. Hell, I made a vlog on this very subject and voiced my acceptance of the term “NAWALT (not all women are like that).” I stand by what I said in that video, even though I was roundly set upon by the manosphere. Paul Elam has repeatedly said he will not tolerate misogyny on A Voice for Men and is quick to ban anyone who would try to break that rule—and for good reason. Violence and hatred will not lead to a productive discussion. It’s part of the reason why we have such a hard time taking feminism seriously. Radicals are calling the shots while moderates have become the fringe group.
The people who do the talking within our movement (the heavyweights, as I like to refer to them)—the Paul Elams, the Dean Esmays, the Karen Straughans, the Janet Bloomfields, the John Hemblings, and so on—are not radicals. They are not violence-advocating individuals who have an axe to grind against the female sex like so many feminists seem to have against the male sex. They are certainly vocal and are not afraid to speak their minds, but that doesn’t make them radicals. If being loud makes someone a radical, then George W. Bush Jr. should’ve been one since he never shut up about terrorism and protecting America. I feel like this is something I shouldn’t have to point out, especially since I’m positive these folks don’t need me to defend them. After all, who am I beyond just another Internet blogger? But when ignorant ideologues and trolls insult people I respect, I feel compelled to say something.
The most radical thing any of these people have ever said is that women are human beings with a brain, capable of taking responsibility for their lives, that men and boys are human beings who matter, and that feminism has gone over the edge. But even those statements are enough for Paul Elam to be labeled a “woman-hating prick.” Disagreeing with society’s mainstream view that women are helpless victims and men are evil oppressors does not make someone radical. It just makes them a person with a different opinion.