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Published on April 18th, 2014 | by Rayne

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Mens Rights Activists vs Radical Feminism: Two sides of the same coin

Like most social media sites, my Twitter is a good way to meet wonderful people and a great way to witness the depth of utter delusion spewed forth by angry individuals with an axe to grind. Dear readers, I’m talking about Mens Rights Activists and Radical Feminists – two groups constantly at war with each other, who blame each other for the problems of the world. Two groups of people who have an inability to see that they’re aren’t the solution to the worlds problems, they are in part a large cause of them.


The Mens Rights Movement is a branch of the mens liberation movement which started in the 1970s, originally it had some good ideas. More rights for fathers, reproductive choices for men (if women get the choice not be parents, men should have that same choice), advocacy around issues such as male survivors of rape, incest and domestic abuse, advocating against male genital mutilation, advocating for proper education for boys and young men – especially for those who  don’t have access to it or are living in poverty, amongst other issues.

It’s since gone to shit. The movement quickly morphed into some men advocating against feminism and rights for women. They promote the idea that feminism is inherently bad for society because it discriminates against men and oppresses them. Rather than actually doing proactive things like open homeless shelters and rape/domestic abuse shelters for men or starting up suicide hotlines for men or advocating for better healthcare and education to reduce men living in poverty – they sit on the Internet pissing and moaning about how feminism is bad because people are calingl out the bullshit that MRA’s like to sprout. They’re missing the point – feminists aren’t trying to oppress them, calling someone out on your bullshit isn’t oppression. The Mens Rights Movement has turned into a bunch of people congratulating themselves on how awesome they are while whinging how women all treat them horribly and placing the blame for their own bullshit onto another group of people. The above type of Mens Rights Activists – despite being a minority, use the the Mens Rights Movement as a front for misogyny while claiming to be for gender equality.  Ironically (also hypocritically) they blame feminists for their “man-hatred,” but dump absurd amounts of hatred on men who don’t share their persecution complex. If you don’t act “like a man” and agree with them, you’re probably a mangina and responsible for the ongoing “feminizationof our society.

Because somehow women fighting for better futures and better living conditions for women somehow devalues the lives and experiences of men. Right. The forums antimisandry.com and A Voice For Men are breeding grounds for young angry misogynists looking for a way out of taking responsibility for their own shitty attitude and placing the blame on women. In particular my favorite misogynist (also antisemite and raging homophobe) is Henry Makow who runs a website called SaveTheMales.ca -Henry Makow is a man who must walk around with a constant sense of paranoia that Jewish people, gays and women (possibly Jewish gay women) are going to break into his house in the middle of the night, castrate him and force him to participate in the New World Order.

Pro-feminist blog, Manboobz.com has some great examples of MRA’s lurking around the Internet (Warning! The screenshots may melt your brain).

Never fear, there are sites out there advocating for better lives for men while combating the ludicrousness of the above minority MRAs. The Good Men Foundation promotes activism on men’s issues, supports charitable foundations and publishes an online magazine dealing with men’s issues in a respectful more proactive way.

In the corner opposite to Mens Rights Activists are Radical Feminists (and the subset community known as Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists). Some Radical Feminist are against safe  sex work for women, against safe pornography and adult film actresses. Some Radical Feminists even go as far as to state that all sexual intercourse with men (known as penis-in-vagina sex) equates to rape, that having many people view their blogs equates to rape, that women cannot consent to sex with men due to widespread brainwashing and that the concept of biological sex should be policed because women cannot take care of themselves. Other more extreme radical feminists believe that no woman can have consensual sex with transgender women because all consensual sexual activity with transwomen equates to rape, that transwomen hold conferences that teach them how to rape women, some radical feminists even believe that men are such a danger to women that all women should become gay or stop having sex altogether with men because “we shouldn’t sleep with our oppressors”. As well as the idea that all pregnancy is rape and violence against women and all babies are born out of rape. Many radical feminists deny that transgender people exist while ignoring Intersex people – many radical feminists will not admit that women can be perpetrators of rape and sexual violence.

Basically men are to blame for everything.

Please don’t get radical feminists confused with feminists who fight the kyriarchy, who want sex work to be regulated for the safety of the workers and clients, who view intersectionality of vital importance and who include all women from all walks of life – not just cisgendered middle class white women.

The one central theme I have discovered between both extremist groups is one of shifting blame. Both groups are so intent on yelling and screaming and shouting about how the other group is so incredibly horrible and are the source of the worlds problems – they both miss the point completely.

The world needs to be a better place for men, women and children. The world needs feminism that is inclusive of all people. The world shouldn’t shame men for wanting to wear “women’s clothes” – hell there shouldn’t be “women/men’s clothes”, there should just be clothes. The world shouldn’t shame women for liking sex nor should it victim blame survivors of rape regardless of the survivors sex or gender identity. There are a lot of things our society needs to account for and these fringe groups are doing utterly nothing to change the very things they’re moaning about.

MRAs need to stop clinging to their privilege and allow the status quo to shift in favor of a more equal society – and Radical Feminists need to accept that while women are victims of a lot of things, they can also be perpetrators of a lot of things as well. Between you, me and the gatepost, dear readers – I suspect both groups like playing the victim card. They get to whine about how oppressed they are while doing nothing to change it. I doubt that we ever happen – MRAs will call you a feminazi if you disagree with them while RadFems will call you a MRA if you disagree with them. Both groups are cut from the same cloth – extremists with nothing based in logic or reasoning.

Ideally both groups need to come back to the real world and start acting like they actually want to change the world for the better rather than attempting to yell each other out of existence or oppress others for the sake of their own personal gain.

Update: Transphobic radical feminists on Twitter not only prove my point but also resort to insults.

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6 Responses to Mens Rights Activists vs Radical Feminism: Two sides of the same coin

  1. latsot says:

    You ignore the fact that there are thousands of years of injustice against women and injustice – real and imagined (and it’s mostly imagined) – against men is pretty recent.

    You also ignore the fact that the MRA attitude is exceedingly common. Very many otherwise liberal people – men and women – echo what you suggest are among the most extreme MRA attitudes. For example, society and individuals almost always blame female rape victims rather than the rapist. They were raped because of what they were wearing or because they drank alcohol or because they had the audacity to be out by themselves while in possession of a vagina. Look at *any* news report about a rape on the web and there WILL be someone in the comments blaming the victim. And very likely, the article itself will blame the victim too.

    There isn’t the slightest doubt that women are fighting a losing battle.

    So let’s move on to your assessment of what you call ‘radical feminism’. First, that’s a proper term with a proper meaning. You are misusing it. Look it up. Second, you pick some obviously insane examples and throw around terms like ‘many’ as though these are widely-held views. They obviously are not. They – very very obviously – are not as widely held as the MRA views you mention. You go out of your way to equate a barely-existing radical fringe of the feminist movement to an entirely mainstream set of values you’ll find in just about any gathering of people.

    Don’t you see the problem here?

    Surely it is possible to track down the occasional feminist with ridiculous views. Of course there are foolish people who say that all intercourse is rape, for example. But that really is an extreme view, whereas the views you (rightly) attribute to MRAs are not. They are mainstream. They are acceptable in mainstream society. They are often *encouraged* in mainstream society. You’re comparing apples with space stations.

    Some of the supposedly legitimate grievances you attribute to men are only partly so. Pregnancy, for example. The consequences of pregnancy are *clearly* far more severe for women than for men and that’s one of the reasons that enlightened laws tend to redress that imbalance to some extent. It’s a lot easier for men to run off without taking responsibility for a pregnancy and/or any resulting child, for example. That’s why we need to support pregnant women with abortion and childcare facilities. Should we support single men with children? Absolutely. Is there some unfairness (at least in the UK) with women almost automatically getting custody of children in the event of divorce? Yes, yes there is and this is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed. But the fact remains that the consequences of pregnancy are much greater for men than for women and our effort at support needs to reflect that.

    Issues like rape and poverty likewise. Men get raped, of course, but it is comparatively extremely rare. There should be organisations to help male victims of rape and indeed there are, but the amount of money spent on them and attention given should properly reflect the relative scarcity. And as you say, if we men don’t think enough is being done, we should do what women have done in many places and organise these things ourselves. Many men are impoverished. That’s bad and we should help them. But many more women are impoverished because they are prevented from making a living. There are lots of countries where women aren’t allowed to leave the house unaccompanied by a male relative, let alone be educated or work. Fighting to help impoverished women is a win on both the poverty aspect and the oppression aspect.

    Genital mutilation is another uneven playing field. I’m not at all an advocate of cutting off childrens foreskins. It’s barbaric and it’s completely stupid. Let’s not subject children to unnecessary medical procedures carried out in unsafe environments. But there is NO COMPARISON between male circumcision and female circumcision. If we call male circumcision barbaric, there is no word left for female circumcision. It is self-evidently far worse, far more of a crime and far less forgivable than the male version. There is simply no comparison.

    So while I agree that the world is crazy all over, your equation of radfems with MRAs is entirely bogus. Women really do have more reason to complain and it isn’t only MRAs who need to check their privilege. That’s the point. We *all* need to do it. All the time.

  2. Marty says:

    Both groups conjure up images of boys and girls clubs in primary school complaining about the other side having cooties.

    latsot, the moment you start putting one gender ahead of the other, regardless of which one it is, you’re no longer an activist for positive change, you are a sexist. There are a few choice examples, but the one that grabbed me was:

    “But there is NO COMPARISON between male circumcision and female circumcision. If we call male circumcision barbaric, there is no word left for female circumcision.”

    What the fuck are you talking about. They’re both barbaric, you don’t need a special word for one just because it happens to be something done to a female, they’re both barbaric. Whether one is more barbaric than the other is both irrelevant and a matter of subjectivity, probably depending on whether you’re a man or a woman. For a woman, it would seem worse if it happens to another female, because you can’t relate to it happening to a male. And that also highlights the core issue at the heart of extreme MR/WR movements – a lack of relation. Neither side is either capable of relating to the other, and neither one wants to. It’s the schoolyard all over again.

  3. Gaius Baltar says:

    “Genital mutilation is another uneven playing field. I’m not at all an advocate of cutting off childrens foreskins. It’s barbaric and it’s completely stupid. Let’s not subject children to unnecessary medical procedures carried out in unsafe environments. But there is NO COMPARISON between male circumcision and female circumcision. If we call male circumcision barbaric, there is no word left for female circumcision. It is self-evidently far worse, far more of a crime and far less forgivable than the male version. There is simply no comparison.”

    Same old zero-sum game. ‘Barbaric’ covers both practices and a number of others totally unrelated to surgical alterations, such as bride kidnapping. Upholding one person’s rights doesn’t mean downplaying another person’s. It’s the same right. And you’re making a comparison. They are done for the same reason (the assumption that all infants with penises are men who will sleep with women, fictitious hygiene claims, cultural coercion even over mothers’ objections and inhibiting normal masturbation) and FGC originated with MGC as an attempt to make females less masculine and males less feminine. Of course now they can sell the tissue so there’s a profit motive in taking as much as possible.

    You’re also erasing the millions of girls who undergo a ‘slit’ in the hood and are totally ignored by feminists, and the fact that even the founder of the first battered women’s shelter, Erin Pizzey, was pilloried when she tried to do the same for battered men. Mainstream feminism has actively worked against men’s reproductive rights, against men’s right to bodily integrity, and against any discussion of male victims of abuse sexual or otherwise. And I still support the core causes of feminism.

    Genital cutting (a single practice affecting a billion men, 100 million women and many intersexed) is one of natural selection’s defense mechanisms against us getting too smart to breed so fast. Why else would it be at the core of so many patriarchal cultures? Behold, a boy being totally degloved with rusty metal in the bush while hundreds of men scream at him to ‘be a man.’ The whole idea is to weaponize male sexuality.

    http://www.vice.com/the-vice-guide-to-sex/imbalu-circumcision-party-2-of-2

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