I’ve been trying to place my finger precisely on what frustrates me about the Mens Rights Movement.
Aside from the fact that engaging with them proves largely fruitless and frustrating for both sides, there is just one structural flaw that I’ve not been able to put my finger on until now.
A space I have subscribed to recently posted this and it is pretty standard fare for what I would expect from a Men’s Rights Activist.
Putting aside the fact that this is a pretty bad example of spin and slander (all shelters are different and mens shelters do exist), there is something deeper that Arabella Elisabeth nailed completely.
“Annoyingly if it were about men campaigning for better access to mental health care, equal custody or stopping routine circumcision I would be marching beside them.
But it seems these sorts of guys don’t want to actually do anything about mens problems. They only want to use them as a stick to beat down women.”
I honestly could not have phrased it better myself. Mens Rights Activists, in my experience, are just hell bent on forcing their own agendas which almost only ever consist of blaming and destroying Feminism, Feminists and Feminist work.
Many a time I’ve heard “Men experience this, too” or “what about men?”. To which the reply is often “Run an event and I will support you.”
In other words, if you believe in this, fight for it – don’t expect me to fight for it on your behalf.
What is frustrating in this is that if Mens Rights Activists took time to look past their own propaganda, they would realise that Feminism is a hugely diverse umbrella term for a considerable amount of movements often with conflicting ideals – virtually none existing solely to destroy men (and those who are, are hugely shunned. If you have a problem with something a Feminist has said, there will likely be another Feminist who has the same complaint)
A friend of mine recently had a break through with her brother when he realised that even if he did call himself a Feminist, he didn’t have to agree with all Feminists; that if he believed in equality for sexes, then there would be a group that would fit his views and good readings for him to start challenging himself in healthy ways.
A Voice for Men’s emphasis (as shown in the picture) is not to create more support for men’s needs, but to channel frustrations and rage onto Feminists and to justify it by implying and perpetuating that the imbalance is created by Feminists.
Balance (aka equality) is what Feminists are seeking, whether that be to the benefit of any gender, so long as it helps dismantle the oppressive structure of the society we live under.