I respond to “The Toxic Appeal of the Men’s Rights Movement” by James S. Fell published at Time.com
I don’t know if James is a real journalist when it comes to subjects he knows more than nothing about; it seems journalistic integrity goes out the window when defending feminism. Like Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde, Time, James Fell, and other “journalists” of this ilk turn into mainstream literary lynch mobs when the issue is men’s rights vs. feminism.
Lets examine what this “journalist” has written:
“Imagine a kid who got a cone with three scoops of ice cream in it. Good flavors, too. Like peanut-butter chocolate, plus a scoop of cookie dough. In a waffle cone. And then this child whines about the lack of chocolate sprinkles on top.
Welcome to the men’s rights movement.
Wait, what? Men’s rights? That’s a thing? Yes, it’s a thing, and while there are certain legitimate aspects to men’s rights activism, or MRA, it’s overwhelmingly a toxic slew of misogyny. This world of resentment and hate speech has been brought to light in recent days as we learned about the vitriolic forum posts and videos left behind by Elliot Rodger, the 22 year-old accused of killing six people in Santa Barbara last week. But it’s hard to comprehend from Roger’s delusional rants how potent the movement’s message can be for ordinary men.”
Mr. Fell attempts to use a metaphor saying… all MRAs are ice cream (human rights!?) hogs!? – I guess for fathers’ rights activists the “sprinkles” would be their children. How dare they!
James, to us in the MHRM, when you say “Wait, what? Men’s rights?, you sound like bigots who once said “Wait, what? Civil rights?, my point being that you’re late to the party, are ignorant of the subject, yet you have prejudiced opinions of a movement and a subject you know nothing about.
You do the usual “there are legitimate men’s issues” but then go on about how great men have it – but there it is – YOU ADMIT WE HAVE ISSUES! Should we address them or “get to the back of the bus” as you suggest?
Do you actually know what our “movement’s message” is, because if you look at the majority of legitimate men’s rights group’s websites THERE IS NO HATRED OR MISOGYNY TO BE FOUND. If you find it Mr. Fell, I’d like to see it. Of course some individual people may endorse hatred or violence (male or female, feminist or MRA) BUT AVFM AND OTHER MROS ARE NOT MISOGYNIST OR VIOLENT. Our message, by the way, is equal treatment for men, women, boys, and girls.
The connection he tries to make with this murderer and the MRM is laughable at best. Actually, the killer had strong feminist leanings and despised men far more than women (read his writings and also the death toll: 4 men dead, 2 women dead – that’s misogyny?) Should we say that Valerie Solanas (who shot Andy Warhol and formed SCUM: Society for Cutting Up Men) was caused by feminism? Vulnerable men such as this are following mainstream media nonsense (men valuing themselves by what women think) not the MRM.
“MRAs believe the traditionally oppressed groups have somehow seized control and taken away their white male privilege. They tap into fear and insecurity and turn it into blame and rage. Often the leaders of these groups are men who feel as though they got screwed in a divorce. They quote all sorts of statistics about child custody and unfair alimony payments, because in their minds, the single mother who has to choose between feeding the kids or paying the rent is a myth. They believe passionately in their own victimhood and their creed goes something like this: Women are trying to keep us down, usurp all our power, taking away what it means to be a man.”
James, at least you got something right here, one out of three isn’t bad: “white male privilege” – we ARE people fighting for males, but where do get the notion that we’re fighting for ‘whites’ ? Is Carnell Smith a white male? Karen Straughan? Sen. Anne Cools? All are speaking at AVFM’s International Conference on Men’s Issues. As for the “privilege” you say men have; that would be something men have that women don’t, right? Many of us would like to hear what they are, as we can cite many privileges that women enjoy that men don’t: freedom from selective service and the draft, reproductive rights, child custody, etc.
Thanks for making another point for me: unfair alimony payments sure as hell are a men’s rights issue! James, make believe you’re a journalist and go to YouTube and search for ‘florida lifetime alimony.’ Watch a few of those videos and tell me that’s not state sanctioned slavery.
Also, it’s not just some of the ‘leaders of the movement that have been screwed in a divorce’ but so have many MRAs –THAT’S WHY THEY’RE MRAs!
Nowhere in the MHRM does it say that women “usurp all our power, taking away what it means to be a man,” because MRAs know that men never had this “power” to which you allude. This argumentis a straw man feminists have used to set men up as having power that women don’t to silence dissent and to infer that men and MRAs want those “traditional” roles that kept them in “power.” If you were a real journalist, a cursory glance at MHRAs would show just the opposite: rejection of those traditional roles that – far from giving them power – ended up alienating fathers from their kids, causing high male suicide rates, shorter life span, etc. MRAs fight for equal treatment for men and boys, nothing more, and nothing less.
“Men’s Rights Canada made headlines again recently with their classless response to an anti-sexual assault campaign called “Don’t be that guy.” Posters went up across the nation implying women aren’t punished enough for infanticide, stating, “Women can stop baby dumping. “Don’t be that girl.” This was a follow up of the same campaign from last year alleging many women made false rape accusations because they felt guilty over a one-night stand.”
Again, thanks for helping me make my point: the metaphor linking the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign and the “Woman Can Stop Baby Dumping” applies perfectly! Of course just because some women dump babies IT’S NOT BECAUSE THEY’RE FEMALE, IT’S BECAUSE THEY’RE CRIMINAL. So it follows that rapists do not rape because they are male/female, IT’S BECAUSE THEY’RE CRIMINAL, and so the original “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign that inferred that all men can rape SHOULD be the subject of satire as in the anti-infanticide poster “Don’t Be That Girl.” And James, what is your stand on false rape accusations, as you seemed to be annoyed the MRM brings it up. Are we being too uppity?
“As a white man who writes about fitness, I’m very aware of the pressures on men and the many ways that these kinds of hateful messages reach my audience, both overt like the Canada ads and the less blatant claims of male victimhood in mainstream media. It’s clear that the definition of masculinity is in flux, and for some men that’s frustrating, especially with near-pornographic ad campaigns promoting women as objects of sexual conquest. And while there are aspects of MRA that are worth bringing to light, as a movement it can suck a good man down a rabbit hole of resentment. It is backward-looking and pining for good old days that never were.
Are there some problems with specific instances of unequal treatment? Yes. Is there some anti-male sentiment out there? Yeah, that happens too. But turning these issues into a movement is laughable. It is a like a multi-millionaire who whines that a tax loophole was closed and he’s losing 0.5% of his annual income.
Men, especially white men, aren’t marginalized, we aren’t under attack, and we not in danger of losing the overwhelming privileges society bestows upon us for having pale skin and a penis. However, MRAs have been described as whining children by the women they call ‘feminist bitches.’”
Again, if you did your homework, you’d know the MHRM wants nothing to do with “the good old days.” Making shit up again, lazy, or have an agenda, James? Which is it? All three? You also say there is anti-male bigotry, but that’s tough and “laughable” – sounds anti-male right there.
Another bad metaphor… about men being multi-millionaires that doesn’t apply; I guess baby boys should be happy with their millions and not “whine” about circumcision and their measly little foreskins.
Again – calling us white men – I’m going to tell your boss you didn’t do your homework! Maybe you have us confused with the KKK? MRM, KKK – they even look similar – to an idiot!
Maybe you have info that I don’t; you say white men have “overwhelming privileges society bestows upon us”, yeah, maybe white PEOPLE, but not males – BLACKS WERE SLAVES, NOT WOMEN – IT’S A DIFFERENT ISSUE – NOT EVEN CLOSE!
James, stick to Fitness reporting.