Who Cares About Men’s Rights?

I do.

I care about every boy that was ever called a fag or a pussy or a sissy for being emotional, or sensitive, or unathletic, or just not manly enough. I care about the boys who are afraid they’ll lose their manhood if they admit they like boys that way. I care a whole fuckload about the ones, gay and straight and other, who commit suicide about it.

I care about the three-year-old that just wants a doll. I care about the fourteen-year-old who just wants a pair of high heels. I care about the (straight!) college student who loves his skirts and dresses and will never be able to wear them outside the confines of hippie school.

I care that men are less likely to get to college than women, and I care that no one seems to be pissed the fuck off about it.

I care that, although their median income is still higher than women, men’s real wages have remained stationary since the 1970s while women’s have grown.

I care about male rape survivors. I care that some people think male rape can’t exist. I care that our justice system is ignoring systematic rape of prisoners, and that many people regard it just part of the punishment. I care about the twelve-year-old boy whose rape by a teacher is regarded as good luck instead of pedophilia. I care about the rape survivors who have never realized that what they went through was rape.

I care about stay-at-home dads and men who want to be stay-at-home dads. I care about men who want to do their share of the child-rearing, whether they work outside the home or not. I care that fathers are far less likely to get custody of their children in a divorce.

I care about male domestic abuse survivors. I care that many people consider abuse of men to be a joke, the stuff of sitcoms. I care that many people see male abuse survivors as weak and not real men. I care that there are no male-only abuse shelters.

I care that the most male-dominated jobs are also the most life-threatening, from lumberjacks to firefighters to soldiers. I care that formerly male-dominated blue-collar jobs have disappeared overseas, leaving many working-class men without a livelihood. I care about men who want to be elementary-school teachers and nurses, and the mockery they get, and the fact that they are far more likely to get promoted to doing administration and management because a male nurse? Whoever heard of such a thing!

I care that women can’t be drafted while men can.

I care about every man who doesn’t seek help for his mental illness because real men tough it out. I care about men who find alcoholism more manly than therapy. I care about mostly-male soldiers with PTSD that has never been treated. I care that, even though women are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to succeed.

I care that men live seven years less than women. I care that unmarried men are less likely to go to the doctor for regular checkups and more likely to ignore their illnesses until they get too bad to treat.

I care about men who have been virgin-shamed. I care about men who don’t really want casual sex but have it anyway because they’re supposed to like it. I care about men who have never felt desired. I care about men who date thin women while they dream of BBW. I care about guys who pedestalize women, and guys who think they have to become jerks or remain celibate, and pick-up artists and dudebros and Nice Guys ™.

I care about how hard it is to keep guys– talented guys, guys who have a passion for singing and dancing and acting– in musical theater.

I care about men who like romance novels. I care about male Twilight fans. I think they have bad taste, but I care.

I care that no one fucking teaches male college students how to do laundry and clean their rooms and cook, as if they’re not going to have to do that ever.

I care about men who had to learn to fight or get beaten up themselves. I care about men who can’t relate except with their fists. I care about men who have repressed every emotion except for anger. I care about the bullshit that is “boys don’t cry.”

I care about the health problems athletes have– even student athletes– because they’re encouraged to play through injuries and given inadequate safety equipment. I care that football players have long-term neurological damage from multiple concussions. I care that, for too many minority and poor men, sports seems like the only way out.

I care that I could go on with this list for hours and still not be done. I care because this is not about men, this is about my father and my boyfriend and my best friends and the guys whose books I’ve stolen and the guys whose hearts I’ve broken and the guy who broke mine and the greatest English teacher the world has ever known and my Greek professor and next year’s roommates and Neil Gaiman and Gerard Way and Joey Ramone and Jim Butcher and half of the people I have ever loved or hated or feared or wanted to be.

Now it is time for the yelling.

Feminism, overall, you are doing a shitty fucking job of incorporating men. Yes, there are many feminists who are awesome about raising awareness of men’s issues; yes, there are counselors of male survivors of domestic abuse; yes, men have benefited as a side effect of feminism. But overall, do you see major feminist blogs posting about issues mostly of concern to men even half as much as they post about issues mostly of concern to women?

Uh-huh. Thought so.

I mean, have we learned nothing from when we got black people in the movement, and poor people, and queer people, and trans people, and disabled people? The side of “well, we shouldn’t help with that, it’s not our thing really” has never, ever, ever, ever turned out to be the right side! You would think we would have caught on to the trend by now!

And what’s that about “well, men should start their own anti-prison-rape and pro-stay-at-home-dads campaigns”? Yes, ideally, they would. But the men’s rights movement is a bit of a non-starter and, frankly, we are going to need people trained in analysis and activism by the single largest and most politically powerful movement about gender issues! It would be perfectly fine to have a movement mostly focused on women, if the movement focused on men even existed.

Listen, ladies and gentlemen, we are not going to solve this whole sexism thing as long as we’re only looking at half the problem. You want women to be equal to men, then you damn well have to make men equal to women.

And, no, a bunch of talking about how men need to be more feminist does not count as work on men’s rights. I agree, men need to be more feminist. But we’re not going to get them more feminist unless we show them what feminism can do for them, and that involves working on their problems in addition to being all “men can fight rape too!” Well, you know what, women can fight gender-policing too.

MRAs, no, you are not getting off the hook.

In fact, you are the single most childish excuse for a worthwhile movement it has been my misfortune to see.

First of all, sexism is not a zero-sum game. Just because sexist shit happens to men doesn’t mean sexist shit doesn’t happen to women. The shit is raining down on everyone! You’re stupid to complain “men have so much shit and women don’t have any shit at all” because, well, that’s not true, and also because it’s completely irrelevant. The point is not an equivalent distribution of shit to everyone, the point is to find out what’s throwing the shit on everybody and make it stop!

Second, women are not evil. Let me say this again in big letters for the confused people: WOMEN ARE NOT EVIL BITCHES OUT TO GET YOU. We are people, just like everyone else, and some of us are bastards and some of us are saints and most of us are just muddling through. Some feminists thought that this whole “sexism” thing was the fault of evil rapey woman-hating men back in the seventies, but as it turns out with a few shining exceptions men don’t hate women. Sometimes they have mistaken beliefs about women, and sometimes incentive structures are set up so that sexist behavior is rewarded, and sometimes a lot of other stuff that’s nobody’s fault, but very rarely is someone like “aha! I will go oppress women today!” In fact, it would be easier if it was, because we could just go shoot that guy and then the problem would be solved and candy and kittens would fall from the sky.

Sometimes it seems like your entire movement is just taking a bunch of ridiculous shit some people said in the seventies and changing the genders so instead of saying “all men are rapists” you’re saying “all women are golddigging bitch whores who cheat on you with men with big black cocks.”

Third, some things are not issues. Chicks liking the guy with the motorcycle more than the Mathlete? Not the most important social issue of our times. (Although Mathletes are damn sexy.)

Fourth, and most importantly, movements are supposed to move. Hey, wait a second, let me yell again. MOVEMENTS ARE SUPPOSED TO MOVE. I look around the men’s rights movement and you know what I see? Some two-person protests where someone pretends to be Batman, some petitions that can’t gather a thousand signatures, a few activist groups with almost no political power, some pick-up artists, some socially awkward people not dating anyone anymore and a whole lot of complaining in comments sections. Listen, you guys. Shakesville has organized letter-writing campaigns that got ads taken off TV, Jessica Valenti and Jaclyn Friedman have published books and spoken at colleges, the SlutWalks have started a damn international movement. It is totally possible! I mean, I’m a little bit of a hypocrite here because I’m a blogger who does a lot of complaining in comments sections, but I’ve also volunteered for Planned Parenthood and feminist congresscritters, and I have my congresspeople’s numbers on speed dial, and I’ve signed so many petitions I get phone calls every day with people trying to make me give them money.

You want to know why your movement isn’t going anywhere? Because you don’t have enough footsoldiers like me and too many footsoldiers who want to sit in a corner and talk about how when the apocalypse happens those women who didn’t like me in high school are totally going to be sorry.

This post is what No, Seriously, What About Teh Menz? is about: creating a male-oriented gender egalitarian space, where we can concentrate on issues primarily of concern to men of all sorts– whether they’re queer or straight, white or non-white, gender-conforming or gender-non-conforming, cis or trans, disabled or abled, poor or rich– and fight anti-male sexism and misandry.

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96 Responses to Who Cares About Men’s Rights?

  1. NWOslave says:

    First two paragraphs her “caring” consists of boys playing dress up and being like girls. How nice that boys acting like girls tops her concerns.

    Next two paragraphs are college enrollment of men; too easy scrap Title IX, AA and the myriad of State funded womens clubs. She goes on to with her sadness of mens income while regurgitating the false women wage gap thats been debuked more times than an annoying dog yaps.

    She “cares” about rape survivors, as VAWA laws are enacted with frightening speed that incarcerate men where the rapes take place. Her “caring” about women teachers who rape young boys includes “help” and “excuses” for the women who commit these crimes.

    VAWA states quite clearly “men” are always the predominant aggressors.

    Her default position of men not doing enough to raise children means that a man working 12 hour days isn’t helpful enough around the house. “He” needs to do more. Men apparently don’t do shit for their children.

    Your dangerous, dirty job is repulsive to her. If her sewer backed up she’d call Big Daddy to force men into the sewers to make her life pleasant and carefree. Dead “military personel” is a word of no relevance to her, cause when men die in war women suffer disproportionally, dontcha know?

    Her lipservice caring about mens health as she rallys around the 10 federally funded womens health centers and 0 for men means squat.

    One of my favorite statements of her caring is this, “I care that no one fucking teaches male college students how to do laundry and clean their rooms and cook, as if they’re not going to have to do that ever.”….Thats right men are too inept to even know how to feed themselves or clean or do laundry. Priceless.

    Her continued bleating about child custody and on and on. Feminism has enacted all the laws that privilege women above men socially, economically and politically. Than she goes on to say how she wants to include men in her hate movement of men.

    Feminism is the same thing it always was, a marxist/communist hate movement designed to destroy the family and transfer all social, political and economic power from men to women with the State being the ultimate authority. And that is exactly what it has done, congratulations!

  2. ozymandias42 says:

    The first comment is NWOSlave. Bad omen.

    I will refrain from a line-by-line critique and merely say that, while men are not stupid, it is a bit much to expect eighteen-year-old guys to show up at college and know how the washer and dryer work by OMGMAGIC. The same way that it is a bit much to expect me to know how to fix a car by OMGMAGIC. Both of these are necessary life skills for decades before marriage; both of these are commonly not taught to people with a certain genital configuration, because… um…

  3. Feyline says:

    *jumps up and down in front of NWO, popping a champagne bottle and throwing some glitter while making loud distracting noises*

  4. Welp, you just opened a nice new swimming pool, and already someone’s shit in it.

  5. ozymandias42 says:

    And the problem is that it wasn’t actively hateful and it did contain… actual points… of a sort, so there was really no valid way to delete it according to the comment policy. 😦

    I suggest we ignore him. So! Everyone, have you read Figleaf’s new post about Get Him To The Greek? I personally find it appalling that I didn’t know about the graphic date-rape in it, and actually almost wanted to see the movie (because Russell Brand is a hotass). It’s just proof that people don’t see rape of men as “real” rape.

    Also, a song from the musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change just popped up on my Pandora, all about some dude who’s resisting his urge to cry at a romantic comedy because that’s not macho (and then a woman falls in love with him for not being afraid to cry at movies).

  6. NWOslave says:

    Ozzy, did you say “Russell Brand is a hotass?” Thats objectifying. A big old feminist no-no. Better start practicing what you preach otherwise men in their sexist ways will objectify women. And that’s bad.

  7. ozymandias42 says:

    That is not what objectifying means.

    New Rule: no one is allowed to use the word “objectification” until they’ve read Simone de Beauvoir’s the Second Sex and passed a comprehension test.

  8. Pecunium says:

    Ozy: I see the liar is here as well.

  9. Shaenon says:

    Okay, okay, I know I shouldn’t, but I have to ask: NWO, what do you think Title IX is? At this point I’m honestly curious.

  10. Ozy,
    I haven’t seen “Get Him To The Greek,” but I recently watched “The Way We Were” for the first time. Am I totally out of it or has no one ever objected that the Streisand and Redford characters’ first sexual encounter is her raping him (he’s asleep and drunk and she clearly knows he didn’t know who he just had sex with). It’s disturbing because we’re supposed to sympathize with her character, but it’s totally a female-on-male rape. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

  11. ithiliana says:

    Ozymandias: Congrats on the blog–I will be interested to see how it works, especially to see if you get any men contributors (as opposed to just women!).

    NWO: Congrats on dehumanizing Ozy by referring to her throughout in the third person, as if she is not present. The conventions of replying to a blog is to address the blogger directly; if you wish to critique her work in some way, especially, the second person would be more appropriate. Second person: “you.”

    In regard to the substance of your post, I’d say “citation needed,” but I already know you will fail to provide it, and will continue to spew misinformation.

  12. ithiliana says:

    Sorry didn’t see your suggestion about ignoring him. I will from hereon.

    Have not seen the movie, but will be glad to join in the pervy appreciation of teh hot men by noting that THOR was amazingly good, and the actors whose name I’m spacing on was amazingly hot (and was George Kirk in Reboot). I also love seeing Saarsgard Senior who is wonderful and adorable and it’s hilarious how much his son resembles him.

    On a more serious note, I’ve had a number of students in my courses who were young men raised by single mothers who were very aware of many of the issues addressed by feminists from watching what their mothers had to do, and I know a whole slew of younger male faculty, new hires, who are different than the older generations of faculty. These men are single and can take care of all their basic living needs just fine, and are very much at ease working with women as colleagues and not being freaked out enough to spew misogynistic bullshit.

    The sad thing is, one way and another, the vast majority of these men are white.

  13. papr1ka says:

    I’m really, really glad to see a blog like this.

    The feminist movement sadly has fallen short with regard to incorporating men into their movement toward gender equality. Yeah, they have accomplished many great things for women and continue to do so, as in some respects their work is not done. But while they’ve been focused on that, they have been largely ignoring or only weakly acknowledging the ways in which men get shafted in society.

    MRA’s are not doing a great job, either. While I can agree with them on some issues, such as those listed in this post, I cannot agree with their style of addressing them. Spewing mindless hatred toward any and all women is no way to improve things. If there’s anything they should have learned from feminism (to which they attribute the ‘all men are rapists’ characterization), it’s that painting an entire gender with the same brush simply does not work. Blindly trying to perpetuate some kind of social gender war is not going to improve anything for anyone or contribute to any form of higher understanding and empathy for one another.

    So…thank you! =D

  14. Cheradenine says:

    “Blindly trying to perpetuate some kind of social gender war is not going to improve anything for anyone”

    Indeed, that’s pretty much one of the core tenets of this blog… we should probably put that at the top of the FAQ. Welcome 🙂

  15. NWOslave says:

    @Shaenon
    Here is what Title IX is. This is from the official document of
    United States Dept of Education
    Office for Civil Rights
    Date: April 4, 2011

    Schools should not wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation to begin their own Title IX investigation.
    http://insidehighered.com/content/download/392490/4638343/version/1/file/Sexual_violence_DCL_4-

    That was just a small exerpt.

    colleges that fail to pursue offenders aggressively can be found in violation of Title IX and lose federal government funds. No matter what the local police choose to do, says Ali, colleges are obligated to carry out their own investigation of all complaints.

    As you can see from the above it isn’t “alleged offender” it is “offender” which goes well with the Title IX Standard of “preponderance of the evidence” Not “beyond a reasonable doubt” or even “clear and convincing evidence.” In other words guilt is assumed. The only evidence needed is any woman’s word. Her accusation of sexual harrasment is simply what ever she “feels” at any given point in time. In other words if a man says, “Hi, nice legs.” Depending upon her mood or who said it a case for harrasment may be lodged. Since her “feelings” are the evidence, it’s an open and shut case. She “felt” harrassed.

    Further the “inpartial jury” will now be reqiured/trained before rendering a verdict. The pamphlets will include exerpts from http://www.tellinitlikeitis.net/2008/02/inside-the-minds-of-angry-controlling-and-abusive-men.html

    The jusy will be trained that men, no matter how innocent they might seem are defacto guilty.

    Title IX is now Judge, Jury and Executioner, with it’s own police force, Judge and trained Jury. (No doubt an all volunteer force from the most hateful womens studies dept). Guilt is assumed and the Title IX police pro-actively search out any infraction of thought based on any woman’s feeling’s at any given point in time.

    What did you think Title IX was?

  16. Clarence says:

    I want to know how there are not links to Fathers and Families, National Coalition for Men and SAFER on the side? 🙂

    Other than that, congrats.

    And I agree on ignoring NWOslave.

  17. doctormindbeam says:

    @ithiliana: Several of us are men. Myself included. 🙂

  18. doctormindbeam says:

    @thefemalespectator: One of the fucked up things about the way sex is seen in our culture is that men (supposedly) can’t be raped by women, and that when they’re raped by men, it’s either funny (gays) or deserved (prisoners). I’m sure the filmmakers didn’t see the protagonist as a rapist because the common belief is that women can’t rape men.

  19. doctormindbeam says:

    @ papr1ka: Well said. Equality need not be a zero sum game. Unfortunately, some people on each side are intent on seeing it that way.

    It bothers me that many feminists want to see feminism as “the One True Movement for gender equality,” while refusing to admit its failures in addressing men’s issues, or worse yet, dismissing those issues as “not real” or “not serious” or “not right now.” It also bothers me that incredibly toxic feminist ideas are still taught and given serious consideration as valid/understandable/”woman power!” expressions.

    On the flipside, I find the MRA movement lacking in many respects right now. I think it’s composed mainly of men who have been screwed by the system (divorce proceedings, etc.) and then told “PHMT.” They’re justifiably angry, but there’s a lot of misogyny mixed in too, and regardless, anger is rarely a productive way to get across your message cleanly and be heard. It reminds me a lot of second-wave feminism actually.

    Ultimately I’d hope we could ditch the separation endemic in both and get a movement of true gender egalitarianism off the ground.

  20. doctormindbeam says:

    @Clarence: I’ll check those out and look into adding them. Thanks for the suggestions. 🙂

  21. ozymandias42 says:

    If we’re linking to Fathers and Families, we should also link to the feminist men’s groups like the National Organization of Men Against Sexism and Men Can Stop Rape.

  22. doctormindbeam says:

    Added those as well. Are there any sex-positive anti-rape organizations? Or organizations that discuss “non traditional rape” (sorry): male-on-male, female-on-male?

  23. ozymandias42 says:

    I have Safe For All on the blogroll, which specializes in female-on-male, female-on-female and male-on-male rapes. (My local domestic violence shelter is an affiliate! I’m so proud. 🙂 )

  24. Hershele Ostropoler says:

    He really should know, since I linked it over at Futrelle’s place.

    For the record, nothing he attributes to Title IX is anywhere in the text I saw, but perhaps it’s in the penumbra, a direct and inevitable consequence of the actual text of the statute.

  25. Shaenon says:

    I’m sorry, everyone, for ignoring the ignore-NWO rule, but I might as well reply…

    NWO, the document you’ve attached is not Title IX. It appears to be a Department of Education memo arguing that Title IX could be used to prosecute cases of sexual harassment and violence in schools, since these things could be seen as forms of sexual discrimination. Could you explain why that would be a bad thing? Do you think it should be legal for kids to be sexually harassed and assaulted at school? Why?

    Title IX itself is this:

    “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

    Could you explain why this bothers you so much?

    I should point out that now that women attend college in slightly larger numbers than men, Title IX actively benefits men by prohibiting colleges from providing less funding and opportunities to male students just because they’re in the minority. In other words, eliminating Title IX would very likely result in fewer men attending college, the opposite of what you claimed above.

  26. doctormindbeam says:

    Everyone,

    I think it would be more productive to ignore the trolls rather than feed them with attention. I know this can be hard to do, but I think this will be more productive in the long run.

  27. ithiliana says:

    Contributing to the blog? Cool! I should check out the list/bios, I guess, but in my defense I was accessing things from airport today on tiny netbook….goes to look.

  28. ithiliana says:

    Ozy, for some reason my real full name got shoved into the automatic info with the icon–on the comment above–could you please delete that for me? Thanks!

  29. doctormindbeam says:

    You should be OK now. I cleaned the information out for you and approved the comment.

  30. aliarasthedaydreamer says:

    It seems to me like that stuff might actually help male victims — if Title IX forbids people to ignore reports of rape or harassment, a man who comes forward and says “I was raped/harassed at this party last night” will have to have his complaint taken at least somewhat seriously.

  31. ozymandias42 says:

    Aliaras, I agree. It’s a classic case of “sexual equality is not a zero-sum game.” Ideally, sexual harassment laws would make it illegal to sexually harass both men and women and the only “rights” they would remove is the right of someone to sexually harass anyone they please, which tbh I am not that concerned about. How well these ideals translate into practice is subject to debate, but the theory is sound.

    Also, there are totally cases in which “hi, nice legs” can be sexual harassment. If the person saying it is a professor, for instance. If the person saying it is looming over the other person and backing zir into a corner.

  32. ithiliana says:

    Thank you! And I was glad to be reminded of the contributor info–it look like a fascinating mix of contributors, and I’ll enjoy reading over here. *doublechecks info*

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  35. Dr. Mindbeam,
    Completely agreed. I was just shocked that it’s a film classic and I had *never* heard about this extremely disturbing scene. A female-on-male rape scene that was handled in such a way as to show that it was clearly a case of sexual abuse was “Oscar and Lucinda.” It’s the only one I can think of, but I’d be interested if anyone can think of others. And I thought “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead,” while not a great movie, handled male-on-male rape quite sensitively. It’s horrifying that anyone’s experience of sexual abuse would be ignored, erased or denied, yet alone laughed at.

  36. noahbrand says:

    I find prison rape jokes incredibly creepy, because almost every one of them treats rape as a feature, not a bug. Not only, these jokes argue, is every single detention facility in this nation an honest-to-god rape camp, but that’s a GOOD thing. And yet these jokes are everywhere and taken for granted. Oh, and usually they outright state or imply that the rapists are black, because of fucking course they do.

  37. ozymandias42 says:

    Really? Most of the prison rape “jokes”* I’ve heard have the guys getting raped by a Southern redneck (which is such a classist term in itself), prototypically named Bubba. I wonder if it’s a reflection of where I grew up…

    But dear God. Rape is bad! No one deserves to be raped! How is this even controversial?

    *Because seriously, prison rape jokes are not. even. funny. The dickwolves thing from Penny Arcade was kinda problematic, but it was also hilarious. Most prison rape jokes are just like “hurr rape hurr men getting raped hurr hurr.”

  38. doctormindbeam says:

    I’ve heard the “Bubba” joke as well. Classic example of it, Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. One of the long opening “comedy” scenes has to do with prison guards forcing the two protagonists to give oral sex to other prisoners.

  39. ozymandias42 says:

    How… humorous.

  40. ozymandias42 says:

    I vote we organize a project to organize letter-writing campaigns against every new so-called comedy with a rape of a man in it.

  41. aliarasthedaydreamer says:

    I liked the dickwolves thing because I didn’t read it as trivializing rape. It’s not funny if rape isn’t a horrific crime against a person, because the whole *point* is that RPG quests have a certain fucked up morality to them in which, no matter how bad the digital prisoners are being treated, rescuing more than five of them is a waste of your time.

    The response, with Penny Arcade not getting why some people might be pissed or distressed and some people basically adopting dickwolves as their mascot was…less funny. 😦

    /randomtangent

  42. Anna says:

    Thank you for this post. I loved it.

  43. As a man who endured persistent sexual harassment over the past year and has literally been threatened with rape by a woman on two occasions, I commend your sentiments. There were few options for me to seek redress, and I consistently encountered resistance to my objections from male college peers.

    Moreover, I felt that the procedural requirements enforced on any sexual assault accusation at my school were too much; ultimately I never reported it. Even in the wake of a grassroots student campaign to create a sexual assault counselor position at my school to assist victims, the discussion was always explicit in the gender of this potential hire: female. When I raised objections to their campaign, the members of that almost-entirely-female cohort got that indignant tone in their voices and fire in their eyes that told me that the discussion was over. Ultimately I told them that I opposed it on fiscal principles, questioning where the money would come from in an already cash-strapped environment, because to voice my true opposition invited hostility.

    I would probably describe myself as a male feminist, but I can’t stand talking to many female feminists. Too often, the slightest mention of male concerns are misinterpreted as an opposition to or dismissal of the feminist movement. My father is a teacher and was the “Mr. Mom” to my family while my mother was the breadwinner; my brother has been suffering from substance abuse and depression, but has struggled with the stigma attached to seeking help. But these issues are difficult to frame as problematic; while they often invite sympathy, I’ve found it’s often hard to convince “feminists” that these are situations facing discrimination and a critical lack of support on par with or more urgent than traditional feminist targets.

    Though there is much cultural change that would have to happen to engender the male rights movement with widespread male support, it’s important to remember the challenge that faces the movements advancing other groups: recognizing that improvement of their lot must not come at the expense of others but rather must accompany the advancement of even the “majority.”

  44. Doug says:

    My daughter just made me read this. She also tells me you’re 19. Congratulations on being more mature in your thinking than many of the 50 year olds I know.

  45. Jacob says:

    Thanks for supporting MGTOW. I consider myself an MGTOW and I was shy in high school and skinny ans always resented many women who went after the jerks. I know a lot of mgtow men who are considered “geeks” and are love shy and some are virgins and resent women because they need female energy and nurturing and find that many women go after jerks and Macho Alpha males.Some of these man(more and more) are so bitter they have either given up on women and avoid them.Some go overseas to find non western women.Some become homosexual.Some even are married and have girlfriends and are miserable. Thanks for your support especially for the virgin inexperienced love shy men and mgtow men. It is a shame the gender war is so vitriolic.It is like men and woman are 2 different species as oppossed to one human being. I would like to start and organization or forum of feminists and mra’s to dialogue so healing and unity to begin.Communication is essential

  46. ozymandias42 says:

    To be honest, I don’t feel MGTOW is quite the solution. There are asshole women, yes, but there are also asshole men. Assholery is not gender-discriminatory. 🙂 And for every woman who loves “jerks and macho alpha males” there’s a thousand who like guys who treat her well.

    That said, I do feel bad for virgins. 🙂 Long-term involuntary celibacy sucks. It makes you bitter, it makes you think you aren’t desirable, it fucks up your relationships with the other sex… Not to mention all the gendered shit men get for it.

  47. kaija24 says:

    Jacob, I think what you are describing is a very common experience with dating in your teens and early 20s (or even beyond!), Attempting to find intimate companionship is really a trial and error process that is highly individual and guaranteed to be bumpy until you get some experience. For every young guy who feels overlooked because the girls are going after The Jerks and Jocks, there are young girls who are frustrated because the guys seem to go for the High-Maintenance Princess or the Fucked Up Girl Who Needs Someone To Take Care Of Her.

    Most people, regardless of gender, DO figure out after a while that the dating pool is larger than it appears AND learn some things about avoiding the pitfalls and about themselves and what they are really looking for in a mate…including “don’t waste your time on someone who doesn’t respect you and appreciate you” and “to attract a good partner you have to also strive to BE a good partner”; those two cover a lot of territory. There’s just no easy way through the maze, unfortunately, although everyone seems to be looking for the secret way to get through without getting hurt a few times. 😦

    I firmly agree that men and women are NOT different species and that we have a lot in common with shared humanity. I was a geeky girl who didn’t get much attention from guys until way after college even, and my partner is geeky guy who couldn’t get much play earlier in life as well….but we both grew into our social skills, confidence, AND our adult looks eventually and things did get MUCH better 🙂 Ok, so some people are born lucky and don’t have an awkward stage and sail through young adulthood seemingly without too many issues, but most of us struggle mightily along the way. Some people just never figure themselves out and keep going after the same types of relationships that make them unhappy, but most of us learn from our mistakes and pick better companions as we get more savvy and more secure in our own skins. We’re hoping that people here are on that journey…it may be a headache, but at least it’s never boring 🙂

  48. doctormindbeam says:

    I just wanted to say, you leave the most insightful comments. 🙂

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  50. feministcupcake says:

    Awesome.

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  52. wriggles says:

    It’s about time. As for this;

    “Feminism, overall, you are doing a shitty fucking job of incorporating men.”

    It’s not the role of feminism to incorporate men, what for? There is nothing wrong with men taking a subordinate role in it.

    No one can understand better what it is to be male than men, I trust men to dig deep to free themselves from what ails them. To liberate themselves. A lot of people forget the women’s movement is based on women’s self analysis, men must ask themselves questions in order to find their answers.

    I’d hate to see women attempt to do that for you.

  53. doctormindbeam says:

    It’s not the role of feminism to incorporate men, what for? There is nothing wrong with men taking a subordinate role in it.

    Please tell me you’re not fucking serious.

  54. wriggles says:

    I am absolutely serious, what’s wrong with men being supportive as well as receiving support when they are taking the lead?

  55. doctormindbeam says:

    What I understood you to be saying was that feminism should not incorporate men, but that men should be subordinate in feminism.

  56. JM says:

    I would contend that yours is, in fact, the more influential view within the feminist movement. Of course, upon the appearance of MRAs, the same feminists tend to be shocked and offended, and in fact start precisely “attempt[ing] to do that for you.” I’ve no love for the current state of the MRA movement, but should anybody really be surprised that the outcome was our house divided? If one does not listen to what we have to say over here, should one really be so shocked and offended when some of us go over there and perhaps come to some conclusions that one does not like? If you would like to argue that this factionalism is acceptable cost, I will offer no contest. But if so, I say to you: we may not have to be enemies, but we can never be friends.

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  58. Danny says:

    It’s not the role of feminism to incorporate men, what for? There is nothing wrong with men taking a subordinate role in it.
    If feminism isn’t required to incorporate men then it should have relinquish its claim of being the one true way of gender equality. You can’t ignore the harms of a significant portion of the population while claiming to be its champion.

    No one can understand better what it is to be male than men, I trust men to dig deep to free themselves from what ails them. To liberate themselves. A lot of people forget the women’s movement is based on women’s self analysis, men must ask themselves questions in order to find their answers.
    Does this also mean that feminists will stop expecting men to police other men for the sake of women?

    I’d hate to see women attempt to do that for you.
    The attempt has been made. And as a result you have a movement that allows the harms of men to be lip serviced at best and actively denied at worst. Don’t get me wrong there are good fair minded feminists out there but I think its a long shot to say that they have been acting with the interests of men in mind (despite claiming just that).

  59. doctormindbeam says:

    I’m not sure what you’re saying here. Are you arguing that men and women can’t come to a place of unity within feminism? I think if you believe that then you badly misunderstood part of the reason for this very blog.

  60. JM says:

    I’m saying so far men and women have not come to a place of unity within feminism, and so long as non-incorporating is the more influential principle (especially in deed as well as word), it will not happen. I hope places like this blog will change that, but you’ve certainly got your work cut out for you.

    As for myself, I cannot support the feminism of today solely based on what I hope the feminism of tomorrow will look like.

  61. doctormindbeam says:

    Well, I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t think the “feminism of today” is quite the monolith that you make it out to be. I’d argue that this blog is part of the “feminism of today.” You need to read our FAQ please.

  62. JM says:

    Nowhere did I claim that feminism is a monolith. My claim is only that certain ideas, while not intrinsic to feminism, nevertheless seem to be me to be more influential than their opposites. Just as my perception of feminism as a whole does not reflect much poorly on your part in it, I cannot see feminism as a whole as being much better for your part in it. If I may make a risky presentation of what I see as a similar case:

    Republicans are not a monolith. If I ask a Republican what it means to be be a Republican, I will probably get back things that, at least at face value, I would be sympathetic to: family values, unintrusive government, and so forth. I have Republican family and friends whose opinions I respect and whom I am at least sympathetic to on many issues. But you will not see me calling myself a Republican.

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  65. Feckless says:

    I am a bit late to the party and wanted to post something about the MRA critique. What I thought was funny is that there have been feminist complaining that the MRAs are “frighteningly effective”.

    To say it that way a recent post on Fathers & Families is titled: “Bill Modeled on F & F Legislation Passes—That’s 11 Bills Signed into Law in Past 15 Months”.

    Maybe it is moving?

  66. Jose says:

    ozymandias42, great article you wrote.

    But I have to ask you something: do you or any of the blog’s authors consider yourselves to be in any way part of the men’s rights movement (albeit, as we can read in your text, not agreeing with the methods most of the movement uses)?

  67. ozymandias42 says:

    I identified as a feminist when I wrote the piece, but I’ve come to identify myself as a masculist in addition to a feminist afterward. 🙂 I think the men’s rights movement has some good issues, but certain groups tend towards misogyny and ineffective tactics and the marriage of PUA and the MRM has done no good for anyone.

  68. typhonblue says:

    Just a small criticism. The term ‘male rape’ anomalizes male rape victims. It also sets my teeth on edge.

    Could you use the term ‘male victims of rape?’

  69. Jim says:

    Well that, but it’s pretty clear to me that wriggles is at least implying that there should be a men’s movement addressing men’s issues analogous to feminism, and perhaps that women would be subordinate etc. How about having two lobes of one movement all working to fix some problems instead?

    Not toxic, but not good either. I don’t see the need for subordination of anyone – some women see men’s problems better than some men. Just ask Paul Elam.

  70. doctormindbeam says:

    Speaking only for myself, I do not identify with the term “MRA” because I’ve found such a huge amount of the MRA movement to be toxic and hostile. I instead call myself a “masculist,” which I take to be the positive flipside of “feminist.” (It’s talked about in the FAQ as well.) Does that make sense?

  71. Yep, it makes sense. As the men’s rights movement is not being effective (and opening itself to PUAs), it’s best to «just» be a masculist.

    (It’s a shame, though, because many websites who claim to be written by «MRAs» aren’t in fact written by – true – MRAs/masculists, just people who claim to be so and, then, spread hate.)

    (By the way, I’m Jose, the writer of the first comment. I’ve just found out I could write under my Facebook account, so I do it now.)

  72. Where’s my comment I posted moments ago?

  73. doctormindbeam says:

    We do not allow blogspam, particularly to sites that are clearly against our interests.

  74. Sorry. I just wanted to draw your attention to an opposing (and, I admit, disturbing) view so you could comment on that dreadful text (especially that thing about male victims of rape) so I published. Sorry again

  75. kaija24 says:

    I don’t know if it’s worth the energy. The writers and commenters there seem to have made up their minds and are quite extreme in their concept of what feminism is and how much influence it has had. If someone wants to hate and point the blame finger that much, a comment is not going to change their minds. I can only speak for myself and not the others here, but I’d rather focus on people who are willing to discuss and listen in a productive manner and agree to disagree when necessary without personal attacks. They are entitled to their opinions, but we don’t have to pay attention or validate them 🙂

  76. doctormindbeam says:

    That’s perfectly alright. The author of that post twice already tried to get our attention with it, so I had seen it already. Thanks for clarifying your intent in posting it. No hard feelings! 🙂

  77. Geo says:

    Since the 1970’s various “Men’s Movements” have evolved (as you no doubt know) including:
    1.) MRA’s,
    2.) The Pro-Feminist Men’s Movement
    3.) The Mythopoetic Movement put most simply. Many Feminist Women have been very supportive of the Pro-Feminist Men’s Movement. Where Men’s Groups have been effective and done what I’d consider “good work”, Feminist (and often non-Feminist) Women have been supportive. When we developed Men Stopping Rape, Inc. (Madison,WI USA) into an effective group in the mid-80’s, women (and men) supported us. When we (initially) talked about creating what became MSR, we received guarded support, because the active feminist women in Madison we talked with had been asked to support too many men previously who’d not done anything substantive.

    I started A Men’s Project at: http://www.AMensProject.com last October – which contains the URL’s of over 1400 resources related to Men’s Issues – with a clear “pro-feminist” bias. On my blog – see: http://geoisphere.blogspot.com/2011/06/on-maleness.html – I reacted to the original blog entry here on a personal basis.

    There are a moderate number of men’s groups which I think do some excellent work. Far, far, far more is needed! Many of the issues that you’ve brought up really need men to step up and help build groups to Positively deal with things. As I indicated in my blog entry, I think that we men tend to stick to our “own issues” of the moment, so that, for example, we Het men, rarely reach out to Gay/Bi/Trans Men and those of us who are Not the Survivors of Rape, Child Abuse or Domestic Violence rarely do the necessary work helping our brothers.

    Thanks – again O – for an excellent expression of many important ideas!!!

  78. Holy Counsel says:

    I am seriously disappointed. I read the opening blog entry and thought this would be a wonderful meeting place for men and women to speak together on the issues of men`s rights.

    Instead, I find that a detailed and civil (if harsh) criticism, admitted by the author of the OP to contain valid points, is recommended for shunning instead of engagement. This blog is not a repudiation of the feminist exclusion of men from gender issues; it is a perfect example of it. You even told him he could not use a word until he looked it up in an approved text. Shame on you all!

    I also agree with his assessment on content; a four part serious on men`s cocks! Are you serious? So many men in my life are hurting, and this is what you offer? Again, you should be ashamed of yourselves for continuing to let men think that this is the best we can offer them.

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  81. E. Hill says:

    In support of your campaign to get feminists to be more inclusive, I would ask that feminists refrain from using the words “fee fees” or “feewings” when discussing men’s feelings. It strikes me as a distainful way to comment on the feelings of others. (And, hey, it’s kind of “othering” as well, if you don’t allow someone the same right to their own emotions as you have.)

  82. man_from_mississippi says:

    The article and comments made for a good read. Thanks to you all.

    However, I do not think it’s the job of feminism to incorporate men or that their lack of consideration of men’s rights to be a point of valid criticsm. Social spaces created by movements like feminism are special because they provide the oppurtunity for an oppressed group/minority to explore how to best exert their agency in a world which denies them equal social power and values less their equal contributions. In the case of feminism, men should not be excluded from participation, but men should not object in those spaces “Well men are _______ too.” or “Well men face discirimination in _________ this way.” All people face hardships, but unfortunatley the resources to deal with these problems are not equally distributed, whether it be economically or socially. Historically the avenues available to women have been few and narrow while men have paved a variety of trails to express male dominion. Feminism if it should be about anything it should be about women describing their own experiences. Men have had hundreds of years interpreting everything about themselves and women. In the U.S. men defined the politics of men and women’s lives long before women ever particpated in such decisions (However, I am not saying that women did or do not have power or agency in their lives or the lives of others but that the means to exert such power did not occur in public spaces (male dominated). The same can be said for all forms of media. Men have regulated the entrance of women (just as whites did of blacks) into every aspect of political and academic life. Don’t complain that “you aren’t paying enough attention to me/them!!!” Men’s interest triumph in the this nation and most hardships faced by men are perpetuated by the system which gives them more power. If Men’s Rights are important to people than women and men should encourage men to engage in a dialouge about their real experiences and focus their attention on the systems responsible for the inequities. This is not to say that I think feminism should ignore men in its exploration (how could it women interact with men) but should it feel bad for paying less attention? I think not.

  83. James Taylor says:

    Wow!
    Despite the rather negative comments and despite the author’s own biasses comming through strongly I found the artical very thought provoking. I dismissed the first section about gender issues, I’m hetero and whilst not homophobe tend to have no interest whatsoever in anything to do with the gay world other than liking a few gay entertainers.
    I am one of the lucky men though, I came through the feminised education system relatively unscathed, I haven’t been held back but I do see massive problems for men in the failure of the education system, in the stereotyping that mothers do on their sons or the failure to address the issue of decline in traditionally masculine work.
    That said I noticed a few things which I dont think about too much but which did strike a bell – the pressure to engage in casual sex (because thats what real men do), the cancelling out of a great swathe of literature, theatre and cinema because its ‘chick lit’ etc. Yes, mothers do train girls to look after their own domestic needs but they dont train men. They even tidy up after their sons thus failing to make them either tidy or organised but their daughters are so organised that many have OCD.
    But at the end of it all this is what hit me; the writer did a great job despite being heavily influenced by her own biases and speaking of bias it made me look at my own and realise that I should be more concerned about gay rights even if I find the gay movement much to ‘in your face’.
    All in all a great article which made me think.

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  85. monkey says:

    I’m so so so glad I found this site!

    I remember when I was in college a long, long time ago, there was a popular poster that went “I am a feminist because…” with a whole litany of the things that affect women. I wish now that there was a similar poster/poem for men, and I think it would use the stuff in here. But what would you put instead of “feminist?” I’m not too fond of “masculist” because it still creates a gender divide.

    But I would add this “because if I don’t want to have sex with a woman I must be gay, or if I call out sexism against men it must because I have a small penis, and if I do have a small penis, I am unworthy of love…”

  86. Daniel Quinn says:

    It’s a great post, but if I could make one suggestion: for those of us not fully up to date on the acronyms in the activist world, you might want to explain what an MRA is before ranting about them. I actually stopped halfway and googled for it because I was lost.

  87. ... says:

    “male-oriented gender egalitarian”??

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  89. I am a male heterosexual person. in the OP, I was able to Identify with many of the “anti-issues” that she posted. I was RAPED by my English teacher while attending a “very high class private boys school” . I hate to say that I Blocked it and never reported it., I just tried to forget. I was 8 yrs. old. Now, I am 67 yrs. old. I also have to say that I am grateful for Viet-Nam. I was killing that bastard that raped me every time I killed an enemy! and yea, I came home after 4 tours with post traumatic stress syndrome. Back then the V.A. didn’t do a damn thing to help us when we returned, just get them out of the system as fast as possible. yea, I had a drinking problem—12 years–then I finally got help. My sponsor was a dyed in the wool gay,cross dresser who (when dressed as a girl, was one of the prettiest girls that I have ever been seen with 🙂 ) thanks to him, I stayed sober for the first 3 yrs. and got over the hump. I, now, have been sober for 31 yrs. God Bless Earl.
    I do not consider myself a “feminist” or an “anti-feminist” or an “MRA” . I do consider myself a humanist–humanity and respect to any and all genders. AND I don’t frankly give a damn if that is a proper title or not. It is the way I,ME feel. I do feel that there is room for calm, courteous dialogue on the subject of “feminism” which can and should include men as equal partners. you want equality– well they need it too. And not just in there own blog, but discussing it with the women.
    Talking about discussion, it should be civil and respectful NOT LIKE NWO’s post. Dude you need some anger management training!!!! If you had talked to me like that, well FORGET my anger management training, you’d be talking with new dentures.
    So people, feel free to flame me if you want. I’m tough and wear asbestos panties. 🙂

    Godfrey aka Goofy

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  93. JPost says:

    This is fantastic and many great (and not-so-great, but nonetheless interesting) comments followed. I applaud the men who stand up for anything resembling equal rights for women and men because it is more difficult to stand up for the oppressed from a position of power. I also applaud the men (and women) who stand up and admit to their past abuses or their abuse of others. I cannot fathom how difficult that must be.

    I do think there is a HUGE amount of othering and dialog on men writ-large that feminists do, and I think it undercuts and alienates any avenues feminism may have with men. I have taken part in a few too many discussions where men are shot down simply for being “priveleged” without regard to their situation or relationships with women (and women who have been abused or raped). If we learn anything from gender movements it is that not all people can simply be categorized one way or another, and that we should embrace complexity in human kind. Not all men are potential rapists and not all men are disdainful of women or women’s empowerment. Often when they are, it is because they do not understand or have never been exposed to the real issues facing women. Or sometimes they are shot down by feminists rather than engaged and spoken to as human beings, instead of as oppressors or potential rapists or frat boy douchebags. Feminism should and ought to be a movement for progress across all spectrums of gender, race, and class identity… it should not ever be “blame men”. But unfortunately there are simple-minded and spiteful people in all movements, male or female.

    Thanks again. Keep up the good work and stay positive.

  94. JPost says:

    Also, this may be way off, but I sometimes think the men who plead “men have it tough too” (I have been one) on a feminist forum are crying for help in their own way, not necessarily trying to undermine a feminist argument. One might do well to consider this in light of what men say to women. All people are fearful and all people can be oppressed by concepts of who they ought to be. There is no greater or lesser oppression.

  95. jackborsch says:

    Thank you. I am an incest survivor, my dad abused me for 17 years, my brother for two and an adult woman seduced me at 14. I am now disabled from PTSD and stay home with my kids. I don’t talk about what happened to me, it seems like people think I am trying to derail from what women go through. I am really not, I know that rape is worse when it happens to women. I just feel really alienated by everyone and I am tired of hearing how I am a perpetrator all the time. I have never hurt anyone. I support feminism but I do feel really alone and blamed a lot. Sorry for whining, I just am happy to have found this blog.

  96. Hey! This blog is teh awesome.

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